New Delhi : New Zealand pacer Adam Milne has been withdrawn from the Blackcaps white-ball squads for the upcoming series in Pakistan and India due to concerns about his preparation.
The right-arm pace bowler finished the recent home series against India with a tight hamstring and subsequently had his return delayed for the Wellington Firebirds, missing two Ford Trophy matches in December.
Despite playing the first two games of the Dream11 Super Smash season for the Firebirds, the prospect of six ODIs in 16 days across Pakistan and India was considered too big of a risk.
A decision was therefore made, by mutual agreement, to replace Milne with Central Stags pace bowler Blair Tickner, who is already over in Pakistan with the Test team. Blackcaps selector Gavin Larsen said the decision wasn’t an easy one.
“Adam was very up front with us about his concerns around the lack of one-day bowling loading for the upcoming tours,” Larsen said in a statement on Monday. “After chatting to him, we agreed his preparation leading into the tour wouldn’t be sufficient for him to cope with the demands of back-to-back, three-game ODI series.
“We appreciate his honesty and his genuine desire not to let the team down.” Milne will continue to play for the Wellington Firebirds when available for the remainder of the home summer.
Larsen said Tickner, who has six ODIs to his name, was a ready-made replacement. “Blair’s skills at bowling through the middle and his ability to hit the pitch hard make him a similar prospect to what Adam offered us.
“The fact he’s already in Pakistan experiencing the conditions is an added bonus.” The Blackcaps ODI players depart New Zealand for Pakistan on January 4.