New Zealand arrived in Dhaka a few days ago ahead of their five-match T20 International (T20I) series against Bangladesh, starting September 1. However, New Zealand batsman Finn Allen tested positive for Covid-19 two days after arriving in the country and has been put in isolation.
Fast bowler Hamish Bennett acknowledges that it is a real shame for the youngster to miss a huge chunk of matches and the entire team is really gutted for him.
"We were gutted for him. He had a big winter away, playing in the IPL, the Blast and The Hundred," Bennett said in the press conference.
"Everyone was looking forward to him showing his skills, so it is a real shame. Thankfully, he is feeling better in his isolation. He was looking forward to spending time with the teammates after being away for so much time."
"He is pretty disappointed obviously. We will support him as much as we can. Once he is cleared, hopefully, he can play a couple of games. The plans and processes that BCB put in for us have been amazing. They have done a superb job of minimizing those risks," he added.
No player from this New Zealand squad is part of the T20 World Cup, scheduled to begin from October 17 in the UAE. Bennett, who made his ODI debut in Bangladesh in 2010, says he is not disappointed about missing out. "At my age, I just want to play for New Zealand. It sucks missing out in the World Cup team. I am sure every domestic cricketer would have wanted to be in that squad, so I am not the only one with some disappointment," Bennette said.
"But I have the chance to go out and show my skills in the subcontinent. If there's any injury or something does happen, hopefully, your name is on the top of the list to get the phone call."
"It is a different team with a different coaching staff. We have come together as a group and do a job for the country. I have come to Bangladesh before and got beaten 4-0. We haven't had a lot of success here, so it is a huge motivating factor for us. We'd love to go back to New Zealand and say we won a series in Bangladesh. You see what happened to Australia and other top teams, who have struggled in Bangladesh," the fast bowler added.
The recent T20I series between Bangladesh and Australia saw dry tracks on offer, wherein shot aking became extremely difficult. As a result, chasing 125-130 would be a huge task. In preparation for this series, New Zealand played on similar tracks in Lincoln recently against the Australians and Bennett is grateful for that experience.
"We prepared on very, very tired wickets in Lincoln, which was great preparation for us. Just before that, I have been working all winter really, trying to prepare myself for the next phase of my life. I am 34. I am trying to get ready for the real world, and trying to spend time with the kids as much as possible. It was difficult to leave them the other day but we are here to do a job, and do it well for New Zealand," Bennett, who has nine T20I wickets from as many matches said.