Fast bowler Matt Henry will replace COVID-19 positive Finn Allen in New Zealand’s squad for the five-match T20I series against Bangladesh. Henry was named in the New Zealand squad for the Pakistan tour, where the team will play three ODIs and five T20Is. However, he will now leave New Zealand on August 30 to join the squad in Bangladesh. Meanwhile, Finn Allen would continue to stay in Dhaka and his condition will be monitored by New Zealand team doctor Pat McHugh.
“Matt’s clearly not a like-for-like replacement for Finn, but he expands our selection options and, in the current circumstances, is the best equipped to join the side at such short notice,” said head coach Gary Stead.
Allen arrived in Dhaka on August 20 after participating in the ‘Hundred’. He had passed all the pre-departure tests before boarding the flight to Dhaka. It is still not clear from where Allen picked up the infection. Meanwhile, Henry was the top contender to replace Allen as he is fully vaccinated. Other Kiwi stars, who are in the UK, were not considered due to the quarantine protocols in Bangladesh.
“And, in the current environment, we remain mindful of the need to carefully balance player workloads,” he said. “We’re not prepared to risk anyone’s well-being by asking them to commit to extremely long periods away from home.”
The series gets underway on September 1, with the matches to follow on September 3, 5, 8, and 10. All matches will be played at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka. The visitors have named a second-string squad for the series and it will be a massive challenge for the Kiwis to claim a win, given that the same Bangladesh team mauled Australia 4-1 in their previous series.