Top New Zealand batter Daryl Mitchell will travel next week to Australia with the rest of the squad for the ICC T20 World Cup despite the 31-year-old stalwart suffering a hairline fracture on the finger of his right hand during a nets session ahead of the ongoing Tri-series involving Pakistan, Bangladesh and the hosts.
Mitchell's availability for the upcoming showpiece event in Australia had been in doubt following the injury but head coach Gary Stead indicated while he might miss the opening Super 12 match against Trans-Tasman rivals Australia, the batter should be back for the latter part of the tournament.
"The good news is we have made a decision about Daryl Mitchell and he will tour with us to the World Cup," Stead was quoted as saying by ICC on Monday."When we thought about the value Daryl brings to the team and the likely time frame... we are still hopeful he'll be right for the first game but probably more realistically the second game.
There will still be four pool games to go and then hopefully semifinal and final after that," he added."Daryl has showed the value to this team and we feel it was the right decision to make."Mitchell's form with the bat was one of the key reasons for the Black Caps going all the way to the T20 World Cup final in the UAE last year, with the right-hander hitting 208 runs in seven innings at a strike rate of more than 140.
His unbeaten 72 from just 47 deliveries in the semi-final against England in Abu Dhabi was the highlight as the knock catapulted New Zealand into the final against their trans-Tasman rival.Following that re-match of the final to open their campaign against Australia in Sydney, New Zealand's second game of the tournament comes against Afghanistan in Melbourne on October 26.
The Black Caps are also monitoring a abdominal injury to key pacer Lockie Ferguson and are still hopeful the right-armer will be fit for the start of the tournament.Like Mitchell, Ferguson is also missing the Tri-Series at home.