BLAIR TICKNER is off to the white ball after all. Currently in Pakistan with the BLACKCAPS Test squad, alongside fellow Stags AJAZ PATEL and WILL YOUNG, the big paceman has today been added to the BLACKCAPS’ white-ball squad for the forthcoming one-day Series in Pakistan, and subsequent white-ball tour of India that will see New Zealand play both ODI and T20i matches across this month.
Tickner gets his spot back after ex-Stags quick ADAM MILNE withdrew from the white-ball squad after concerns about his physical preparedness for international cricket.
Milne, currently starring for the Wellington Firebirds who, like the Stags, are on top at the right end of the Dream11 Super Smash table, finished the recent home series in New Zealand against India with a tight hamstring, and subsequently had his return delayed for the Firebirds, missing two Ford Trophy matches in December.
Despite performing well in the first two games of the Dream11 Super Smash season, the prospect of six ODIs in 16 days across Pakistan and India was considered too big of a risk for Milne with the bowler and national selectors agreeing on a prudent course of action.
Selector Gavin Larsen said the decision wasn’t 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 wouldn’t be sufficient for him to cope with the demands of back-to-back, three-game ODI series.
“We appreciate his honesty and his genuine desire not to let the team down.”
Milne will continue to play for the Firebirds when available for the remainder of the home summer.
Larsen said Tickner, who has six ODIs to his name, was a ready-made replacement.
“Blair’s skills bowling through the middle, and his ability to hit the pitch hard, make him a similar prospect to what Adam offers us.
“The fact he’s already in Pakistan experiencing the conditions is an added bonus.”