Two weeks before the T20 World Cup, New Zealand suffered a major injury blow as all-rounder Daryl Mitchell has been ruled out of the T20 Tri-Series in Christchurch after fracturing his hand during training on Friday.
The all-rounder sustained a blow to his right-hand while batting in the nets, with an X-Ray later revealing a fracture to his fifth metacarpal (pinkie finger).
Pakistan and Bangladesh open the T20 Tri-Series on Friday before New Zealand begin their campaign against Pakistan on Saturday night at Hagley Oval.
New Zealand have packed their squad with fast bowlers: Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee and Adam Milne are the frontline pacers, with James Neesham and Daryl Mitchell around as options for part-time seam bowling.
On Friday, the two visiting teams, Pakistan and Bangladesh will square off to begin the T20I triangular series. Before the October 14 final, the three teams will play each other twice in a round-robin stage. Every game will take place in Christchurch.
New Zealand physio for the Tri-Series Theo Kapakoulakis confirmed Mitchell's hand had been placed in a cast which would need to remain on for at least two weeks.
Coach Gary Stead said some time was needed to consider a decision on Mitchell's availability for the ICC T20 World Cup, with the squad set to depart for Australia on October 15.
"It's a real shame for Daryl to suffer this injury on the eve of an exciting period of cricket for the side," Stead said in an official statement released by Blackcaps.
"Daryl's become a really important player to our T20 unit and we're certainly going to miss his all-round skills and versatility in the Tri-Series. With our first game of the World Cup in just over two weeks we need to take some to consider Daryl's recovery timeline and his potential involvement in the tournament," he added.
Mitchell's replacement in the Tri-Series squad will be confirmed in due course. New Zealand will open their Tri-Series campaign against Pakistan at Hagley Oval on Saturday night. (ANI)