Credit: X

Credit: X

Finn Allen and Adam Milne have been ruled out of the BLACKCAPS T20 Series against Pakistan. Allen suffered a back injury and Milne an ankle injury while training ahead of this evening's departure. The nature of their respective injuries meant they wouldn’t be able to take part in any of the five-match series, due to start next week in Rawalpindi.

Plans for their return to cricket will be confirmed in the coming weeks. Wicketkeeper-batsman Tom Blundell and all-rounder Zak Foulkes have been called into the squad as replacements. Foulkes joins a BLACKCAPS squad for the first time, while the experienced Blundell toured Pakistan last year and will provide solid cover in terms of wicket-keeping and top-order batting.  Check the top betting trends on the  best betting sites in India  and apps.

BLACKCAPS coach Gary Stead said the injury setbacks were unfortunate on the eve of the tour.

“We feel for both Finn and Adam, suffering injuries so close to the start of the tour. They have been strong performers for us in the T20 format since the last World Cup. Our support staff and medical networks will be working closely with both players over the next few weeks to complete plans for their treatment and subsequent return to cricket.”

Stead said both Blundell and Foulkes would add strong skill sets to the group.

“Tom is a highly experienced player and along with his wicketkeeping and batting skillsets is a leader in any group he is a part of. He also brings recent experience in the conditions, having taken part in both tours to Pakistan last year. Zak has had an impressive season for Canterbury including being their leading wicket-taker in all three competitions. He has displayed impressive skills with the ball, particularly in T20 cricket for the Kings.

"We also know he has skills with the bat and it will be an excellent opportunity for him to be part of the group."

BLACKCAPS players and support staff depart from Auckland to Pakistan this evening.

Tom Bruce was considered for selection but made himself unavailable for family reasons and to continue with his current contract with Lancashire.

(With Inputs From NZC Press Release)