New Zealand in Australia 2004-05 December 9, 2004

Hamstring injury rules out Hayden

Cricinfo staff

Tama Canning has impressed with his performances for Auckland © Photosport

A hamstring injury has ruled out Matthew Hayden of the deciding match of the Chappell-Hadlee Series on his home ground tomorrow. Hayden suffered the injury to his left leg during the 17-run win to level the contest at Sydney on Wednesday.

Trevor Hohns, Australia's head selector, explained the decision in a statement. "Having consulted with team physio Errol Alcott, we feel that it's in Matthew's best interests to sit out the match, so as to not risk further injury," he said. "With so much cricket on the horizon, including the first Test against Pakistan less than a week away, were not keen to take any chances with him."

The Australian line-up, including Hayden's replacement, would not be finalised until the morning of the the match at the Gabba.

Chris Harris was also injured when he tore a rotator cuff while fielding and has been replaced in the squad by the allrounder Tama Canning. Canning, who scored a first-class best 115 for Auckland yesterday after taking eight wickets in the match, joins the team in Brisbane for their final game of a difficult tour. Canning, 27, has played three one-day matches for New Zealand, taking four wickets and scoring 36 runs.

Constant rain has forced Kevin Mitchell jnr, the Gabba's curator, to abandon his first-choice wicket and use the pitch that held the ING Cup match between Queensland and Tasmania on Saturday. "Kevin and his staff have been working diligently this week and we are very confident the match will proceed without any major disruption," Graham Dixon, the Queensland Cricket chief executive, said.