New Zealand fast bowler Matt Henry has been called in as a replacement for Finn Allen, who had tested positive for Covid-19, two days after landing in Bangladesh. The 22-year-old is currently in quarantine and is believed to be recovering well.
Allen will continue to remain with the team and will be monitored by Blackcaps doctor Pat McHugh, according to the NZC media release. Henry was initially selected only for the Pakistan leg of the tour, but he will now fly out of New Zealand much earlier than expected - August 30 - to link up with the squad in Dhaka. New Zealand will begin their build-up to the T20 World Cup, starting with a five-match T20I series against Bangladesh from September 1.
While Henry is not a like-for-like replacement, New Zealand head coach Gary Stead believes Henry is the perfect man for the job. “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 Stead.
“And, in the current environment, we remain mindful of the need to carefully balance player workloads. We’re not prepared to risk anyone’s well-being by asking them to commit to extremely long periods away from home,” he added.
Incidentally, Henry last played a T20I for New Zealand against Bangladesh back in 2017 in Napier. Overall, he has picked up seven wickets from six appearances for New Zealand since making his debut in the format in 2014.