Due to concerns over his preparation, New Zealand bowler Adam Milne has been dropped from the white-ball selections for the upcoming tours to Pakistan and India. On Monday, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) made the declaration. The right-arm fast bowler missed two Ford Trophy games in December after having a delayed return due to a strained hamstring that kept him out of the most recent home series against India. Despite having participated in the Firebirds’ first two Super Smash games, it was decided that playing six ODIs in 16 days throughout Pakistan and India was too risky. Milne was so decided to be replaced by Central Stags pace bowler Blair Tickner, who is already in Pakistan with the team, by mutual consent.
New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen said the decision was not an easy one. “Adam was very upfront with us about his concerns around the lack of one-day bowling loading for the upcoming tours. After chatting to him, we agreed his preparation leading into the tour would not be sufficient for him to cope with the demands of back-to-back, three-game ODI series,” said Larsen. “We appreciate his honesty and his genuine desire not to let the team down,” added Larsen. With the duration of the home summer, Milne will continue to play for the Wellington Firebirds when he is able.
Tickner, who has played in six ODIs, was deemed a ready replacement by Larsen. “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 is already in Pakistan experiencing the conditions is an added bonus,” added the selector. On January 4, the Blackcaps’ ODI players leave for Pakistan. Beginning on January 18 and lasting through February 1 is the white-ball series against India. Three ODIs and three T20Is will make up the series.