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Black Caps bowler Adam Milne has been pulled out of the upcoming tour of Pakistan and India. (File photo).
Adam Milne has been withdrawn from the Black Caps’ white-ball squads for the upcoming series in Pakistan and India due to concerns about his preparation.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 (January 9, 11, 13) and India (January 18, 21, 24) 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.
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Black Caps selector Gavin Larsen said the decision was not 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.
“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.
Black Caps speedster Adam Milne made regular inroads into the touring side’s batting at Hagley Oval.
“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 Black Caps ODI players depart New Zealand for Pakistan on January 4.