McCullum's participation against Pakistan in doubt due to injury

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Wellington, Dec 18 (ANI): New Zealand batsman Bredon McCullum's involvement in the early stages of the Pakistan cricket tour is in jeopardy, as he has still not recovered from the back injury he sustained in India.

McCullum was yesterday ruled out of the remainder of Otago's HRV Cup programme due to a lingering back injury. That layoff stretches to December 29.

He damaged his back minutes before the third test against India at Nagpur began on November 20, but played.

McCullum sat out the first two ODIs, which followed before returning for the last three, to limited effect, the NZ Herald reports.

New Zealand Cricket were quiet on developments last night but a statement from the Otago association said the move was "the most commonsense approach for Brendon to rest to give him the best possible opportunity of taking a full part in the upcoming international series."

McCullum played one-cup game for Otago, against Canterbury on Wednesday but it appears the injury is not markedly improving, making his chances of being ready for the three T20s against Pakistan, starting at Eden Park on Boxing Day, doubtful.

Captain Dan Vettori said: "I do feel sorry for Brendon because it's the first suggestion [that is made]. It's tough on him and I think he's a real asset at the top of the order in the World Cup.

"Jesse is such a good player of spin, and with his finishing qualities as well we've put a little more thought into him batting at No 4 in the one-dayers." (ANI)

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