ICC World Cup 2023 – Matt Henry joins New Zealand’s mounting injury list

Fast bowler Matt Henry hurt his right hamstring during the World Cup match between South Africa and New Zealand in Pune and left the field midway through his sixth over. James Neesham completed the over, the 27th of South Africa’s innings.

Henry received treatment with the team management hopeful they could strap him up and have him back on the field but New Zealand later confirmed he would not return to bowl.

Henry joins Lockie Ferguson (achilles), Mark Chapman (calf) and Kane Williamson (thumb) on New Zealand’s injury list, leaving them with only 11 fit players in their squad of 15. Ish Sodhi was used as a substitute fielder for Henry but when Tim Southee momentarily left the field, thoughts may have turned to who could field for New Zealand, because the playing conditions do not accommodate for travelling reserves to take the field.

However, a male member of team management is permitted to take the place of a reserve fielder. That means that even though Tom Blundell is part of the touring party, should New Zealand have needed another substitute fielder, they would have had to call on batting coach Luke Ronchi. Blundell will only form part of the official squad if a player of the current fifteen is ruled out and the ICC approves a replacement. New Zealand initially also had Kyle Jamieson as a traveling reserve but he was sent home before Ferguson’s injury and has since played for Canterbury in the Plunket Shield.

New Zealand’s campaign has been beset by injuries since their squad was named in September. Williamson and Southee were named in the touring group despite not having fully recovered from an ACL injury and thumb fracture respectively. Williamson returned for New Zealand’s third match against Bangladesh but then suffered a thumb fracture and is only expected to be available later in the tournament. Southee was available from New Zealand’s fifth match against India but was not selected; the match against South Africa was his first of the World Cup.

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