New Zealand have suffered a blow ahead of their upcoming ODI series against the West Indies with experienced pacer Matt Henry ruled out of the three games with a rib injury.
Henry, a veteran of 60 ODI matches, experienced pain in his left side during training last week and the affected area failed to improve following ongoing treatment from medical staff.
The decision was made to send Henry back to New Zealand in a hope that the 30-year-old can recover in time to feature during the Kiwis' Chappell-Hadlee Trophy ODI series against Australia in September.
Henry's departure has seen inexperienced quick Ben Sears depart for the Caribbean as his replacement, with the 24-year-old in line for his international ODI debut during the three-match series that commences this week.
While New Zealand coach Gary Stead was disappointed to lose Henry, he is excited about the possibility of seeing Sears earn a first ODI cap for his country.
"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.
"Ben comes fresh from a successful tour with the Black Caps in Europe and while he is yet to play ODI cricket - we believe he’s ready if called upon.
"At 24-years-old he’s an exciting young prospect and we like the pace and skills he possesses.
"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 ODI squad: Kane Williamson (c), Finn Allen, Trent Boult, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Ben Sears, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee
New Zealand tour of West Indies
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