Swardeston batsman Mathew Sinclair has been called up as cover for New Zealand’s second Test clash against England at Headingley starting on Thursday.
The 28-year-old has been put on alert after batsman Craig McMillan re-fractured the little finger on his left hand.
McMillan was struck by a Darren Maddy delivery in the tourists’ match against Leicestershire at Grace Road on Saturday. Sinclair travelled to Leeds yesterday and will train with the Kiwi squad today and tomorrow, when he should know whether or not his services are required.
“I’m told I will probably get a definite answer within a couple of days,” said Sinclair, who can consider himself unlucky not to have been in the Test squad in the first place. He was Central Districts player of the year and was awarded one of 20 central contracts by New Zealand Cricket for the next year.
“To be honest I definitely felt a little unlucky not to be there,” said Sinclair, who has 21 Tests and 38 one-day internationals to his name. “I had a very good season back home, but it shows that in this sport nothing is guaranteed.”
Coincidentally, Sinclair found himself in a similar situation, called up for the third Test against South Africa in Wellington in March because McMillan was ill.
“Whenever an opportunity comes up you have to grab it with both hands, whatever the circumstances,” he said.
Sinclair has enjoyed an excellent start to his Swardeston career – his 178 in the East Anglian League draw with Vauxhall Mallards at the weekend was his second league century in three games.
“I am enjoying it,” he said. “Things are going not too badly and we have a team that definitely can keep us up there.”
Swardeston club captain Peter Thomas may be without his star player this weekend, but it came as no surprise.
“We knew the problems we might have when we signed him,” said Thomas. “We knew he might get called up. But he has been just different class for us, and he’s such a nice guy with it. He has helped us no end and helped the youngsters. He’s been a revelation, on and off the pitch.”