New Zealand pacer Matt Henry has been ruled out of the upcoming ODI series in West Indies due to a rib injury. Henry is said to have experienced pain in his left side during practice last week and had to be replaced ahead of the 50-over series as there were no signs of improvement. NZC have called up the impressive Ben Sears, who represents Wellington Firebirds.
“It’s a shame for Matt to have to return home at this point of the tour,” head coach Gary Stead said. “Although the injury is not overly serious – we felt there was a significant risk it would become worse through playing. Matt is on his way home as we speak and will begin his rehabilitation immediately with an eye to being ready for the ODI series in Australia in early September,” Stead added.
“With the upcoming ODI series starting on Wednesday and consisting of three games over five days, we saw it as prudent to bring in a fully fit replacement.”
Sears is yet to play an ODI for New Zealand but made his T20I bow in September 2021 in Bangladesh and even featured in New Zealand’s recent tour of Netherlands, where he picked three wickets. At the domestic level, the 24-year-old has played in 22 List-A fixtures, picking up 28 wickets.
“Ben comes fresh from a successful tour with the BLACKCAPS in Europe and while he is yet to play ODI cricket – we believe he’s ready if called upon. At 24-years-old he’s an exciting young prospect and we like the pace and skills he possesses,” Stead opined.
Sears is expected to arrive in Jamaica on Sunday and fly to Barbados with the squad on Monday ahead of the first ODI on Wednesday (August 17).