Knee injury forces Nathan Astle out of tri-series

Published: Tuesday, October 14, 2003, 19:45 [IST]
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Mohali: New Zealand will be without seasoned batsman Nathan Astle for the upcoming Limited Overs tournament against India and world champions Australia due to a knee injury, it was announced on Tuesday. Astle will return home after the second and final Test against India, starting in Mohali on Thursday, to have a knee injury medically assessed, Black Caps manager Lindsay Crocker said. The One-day series, where each team plays the other thrice before the final at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on November 18, begins on October 23.

"Nathan aggravated the injury in his left knee early on this tour and he is returning home to have the injury examined by a medical specialist," Crocker said. "It is difficult to ascertain the exact nature or extent of the injury. The Black Caps on-tour medical panel feel it is unlikely he will aggravate the injury further by playing in the second Test.

"However there would be a greater risk of aggravation of the injury during the One- day tournament because of the more strenuous fielding demands in One-day cricket. "The aim of sending him home is to try to ensure he is fit for the home series against Pakistan and South Africa," Crocker said.

Wellington batsman Chris Nevin will replace Astle, he said. Astle was in good form in the drawn first Test at Ahmedabad last week, scoring 103 in the first innings and a match-saving 51 not out in the second despite a stomach infection. New Zealand are scheduled to take on India in the opening match of the tri-series at Chennai on October 23.

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