Cricket World Cup 2019: Injury scare for New Zealand as Tom Latham fractures finger
Tom Latham bats during an ODI vs India (AFP Photo)

New Zealand have suffered a major injury scare less than two weeks ahead of the ICC World Cup 2019 with wicketkeeper-batsman Tom Latham nursing a finger fracture.

Latham hurt his left middle finger during the final match of the recently three-match warm-up series against Australia. He has been cleared to travel with the World Cup squad that leaves this Sunday as scans show injury is healing. However, there’s no certainty over his availability in the opening stages of the showpiece event in England that gets underway from May 30.

New Zealand Cricket selector Gavin Larsen said the decision on the 27-year-old’s participation in the warm-up games will be taken close to the fixtures. “Whether he takes his place in those warmup 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,” he told Trackside Radio.

With Latham likely to sit out the two practice matches against West Indies (May 25) and India (May 28), Tom Blundell, the backup keeper in NZ’s squad, could make his ODI debut.

NZC have also kept Tim Seifert and BJ Watling on standby. “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,” Larsen said.

The 2015 World Cup finalists will kickstart their campaign for a maiden title against former champions Sri Lanka on June 1 in Cardiff.