Leigh Kasperek, the New Zealand Women's offspinner, has been sidelined from the rest of the 2016-17 season with multiple fractures on her left little finger. The injury occurred in Melbourne on Friday, when she played the T20I against Australia but couldn't prevent a 40-run defeat of her side. Although Kasperek was able to bowl three overs at the MCG, subsequent scans confirmed that the damage was bad enough that she would need surgery. She has left for home with 16-year old legspinner Amelia Kerr brought in as a replacement.
Despite still being in school, Kerr has five games of international cricket under her belt including a stunning Twenty20 debut in November last year when she picked up 3 for 16 to help New Zealand beat Pakistan despite putting only 118 runs on the board. Then too Kasperek was missing from the XI with a badly broken finger. It's been that kind of season for the 25-year old. Prior to the T20I against Australia, she last played for New Zealand in March 2016.
Kasperek is scheduled for surgery next week but she is expected to recover in time for the Women's World Cup in England in June and July. Meanwhile, New Zealand are set to play the second of three T20Is against Australia in Geelong on Sunday. They have to win to stay alive in the series.