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NZ in WI 2022 – Matt Henry ruled out of West Indies ODIs with rib injury, Ben Sears named replacement

New Zealand fast bowler Matt Henry has been ruled out of the ODI leg of the ongoing West Indies tour with a rib injury. Ben Sears has been named as his replacement.

Henry first experienced pain in his left side during training last week, according to an NZC release, and his condition hadn’t improved since then, prompting the decision to replace him. He was not part of the New Zealand playing XI for the first two T20Is against West Indies, both of which the visitors won to clinch the series, with the third and final game scheduled for Sunday. Henry featured in three ODIs against Ireland in July and picked up four wickets, after which he was released from the squad to play for Kent in county cricket.

Head coach Gary Stead suggested that the injury was not “overly serious”, and that New Zealand made the decision to replace him as a precaution.

“It’s a shame for Matt to have to return home at this point of the tour,” Stead said. “Although the injury is not overly serious, we felt there was a significant risk it would become worse through playing.

“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 has played six T20Is but is yet to make his ODI debut. He is the latest in a line of New Zealand quicks who can hit speeds north of 140kph and Stead believes “he is ready if called upon” during the ODIs.

“At 24 years old he’s an exciting young prospect and we like the pace and skills he possesses,” he said. “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.”

New Zealand picked a full-strength squad for their white-ball tour of the West Indies, with as many as six senior players including captain Kane Williamson returning after being rested for the tour of Europe.

Sears is expected to arrive in Jamaica on Sunday and will fly with the squad to Barbados on Monday. The three-match ODI series against West Indies begins on August 17 in Bridgetown.

After returning home following the third ODI on August 21, New Zealand will depart for Australia on September 2 for three ODIs to be played from September 6 to 11.

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