New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman Devon Conway has been ruled out of Sunday's T20 World Cup final against Australia after breaking his right hand punching his bat in frustration following his dismissal against England.
Conway, who hit a 38-ball 46 in Wednesday's semi-final win, was sore and sorry after being ruled out of both the World Cup decider in Dubai and the following tour of India.
"While it's not the smartest thing he's done there's certainly an element of bad luck in the injury," New Zealand coach Gary Stead said.
"He’s certainly remorseful around it, it’s an honest mistake he’s made.
"He knows it’s having an impact on our team as well but that will provide an opportunity for someone else to come into the side and step up on the biggest stage now.
"Sometimes strange things happen and we find heroes in other places as well."
New Zealand stun England
Conway's injury is a needless headache for Stead and captain Kane Williamson as New Zealand prepare for their first World T20 final against an Australian team with their tails up after beating Pakistan in Thursday's semi-final.
His place will go to Tim Seifert who has not played since the Black Caps were well beaten by Pakistan in their opening Super 12 Group 2 match over two weeks ago.
Conway batted at No 4 against England but Seifert, who was seventh in the order against Pakistan, would be unlikely to replace his teammate in the higher slot.
"Whether we bring Glenn Phillips up one and put Seifert in behind him is something that Kane and I have to work through over the next day or so," said Stead.
Phillips batted at five against England in Abu Dhabi.
New Zealand lose to Pakistan in opener
New Zealand have known only heartbreak in World Cup finals, beaten by England on boundary-count in the 50-over tournament in 2019 and crushed by Australia in the 2015 edition.
They will have a chance to erase the 2015 disappointment against Aaron Finch's Australia on Sunday.
"They’ve got a bunch of guys who are real match-winners as well," Stead said of Australia, who are also bidding for their first T20 title.
"We’re going to have to make sure our planning and scouting is right on point and that we’ve got really clear plans for all of our players because they can rip a game open pretty quickly as well."