Tom Latham, the New Zealand wicketkeeper, fractured his finger in the practice games versus Australia in Brisbane recently and now is in doubt to start in New Zealand’s first World Cup game against Sri Lanka on June 1.
The injury occurred when Latham was keeping wickets and he was immediately withdrawn for a check-up. The 27-year-old visited a specialist upon his return to Christchurch where he underwent an X-ray and was declared fit enough to travel with the squad for the World Cup.
New Zealand had included a back-up wicketkeeper – Tom Blundell – in their 15-man squad and if Latham does not recover before the first game, then Blundell will become the first New Zealand player to make his ODI debut in a World Cup since 1987. Chief selector Gavin Larsen also informed that Tim Seifert and Test wicketkeeper BJ Watling are on standby.
“Whether he [Latham] takes his place in those warm-up games we’ll take a day-by-day approach on that, which will be down to the medical guys and Gary [Stead] and support staff when they’re over there,” said Larsen to Trackside Radio. “They’re both ready; Tim has come off the back of his finger injury, that’s OK, and BJ has been going well. We’ve got the different skill sets covered.”
Blundell will definitely start New Zealand’s warm-up games against India and West Indies on May 25 and 28 respectively and he’s ready if they need him for the opener. “It is pretty exciting but I’ve just got to wait and see. Hopefully for Tom it’s not too bad and he has a speedy recovery. If called upon I’ll be ready,” Blundell told Stuff.co.nz.
“Those games last week against Aussie were a great experience and I’ll draw on that confidence if I do get a chance to play the first couple of games,” Blundell added.