New Zealand's Gillespie replaces Milne for SA T20s
New Zealand fast bowler Adam Milne has been ruled out of the Twenty20 series against South Africa, after picking up an Achilles injury while warming-up for a first-class game on Monday. He will be replaced by Mark Gillespie, who is returning to international cricket after a nine-month injury lay-off.
Milne, 20, injured his leg while exercising just prior to his game for Central Districts against Wellington in New Zealand's domestic first-class competition, the Plunket Shield. The injury was not very serious, New Zealand Cricket's medical team said, but they didn't want risk any further damage and so decided to pull Milne out of the series.
Gillespie, who will join the squad in South Africa on Friday, last played an international match against the same opposition - the Wellington Test on South Africa's tour of New Zealand in March this year. That series also marked an international comeback for Gillespie, who had not played for New Zealand for over three years previously. He made his mark too, finishing New Zealand's top wicket-taker despite playing only two out of the three Tests, but was then ruled out with an ankle injury.
He returned to competitive cricket in October, and has 13 wickets in three first-class games for Wellington since then.
National selection manager Kim Littlejohn said South Africa should suit Gillespie: "It is disappointing for Adam to suffer an injury however it does present a great opportunity for Mark. Mark has an impressive record in South Africa and the conditions will suit his aggressive style of pace bowling."
The first T20 of the three-match series will be played in Durban on December 21.