New Zealand have named fast bowler Matt Henry as a replacement for Finn Allen, who tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of New Zealand’s five match T20I series against Bangladesh. Despite being omitted from the squad, Allen would continue to stay with the team in Dhaka and his condition will be monitored by New Zealand team doctor Pat McHugh.
Allen along with Colin de Grandhomme landed in Bangladesh on August 20, four days before the arrival of other team members. Both players were part of the inaugural edition of the hundred and passed all the pre-departure checks before boarding the flight to Dhaka. The source of Allen’s infection has not been identified.
“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.
Henry was named in New Zealand’s squad for the Pakistan tour where the visitors will play three ODIs and five T20Is, starting September 17. However, the pacer will now leave New Zealand on August 30 to join the squad in Bangladesh.
Henry was an automatic choice for Finn’s replacement as he is a full vaccinated player. There were few other candidates but their name was not considered due to the quarantine protocols in Dhaka.
“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.”
Meanwhile, the series will commence 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.