Ireland's World Cup preparations have been dealt another devastating blow with captain William Porterfield the latest player set to miss a warm-up game on the acclimatisation tour Down Under.
Porterfield missed yesterday's practice session, with national coach Phil Simmons reporting that he was ill, and he was not expected at the ground when Ireland started the first of four games in New Zealand overnight, a day/nighter against the Northern Districts in Hamilton.
With Gary Wilson ruled out by a shoulder injury and Paul Stirling and Ed Joyce not even with the squad, Niall O'Brien is the only member of Ireland's top five batsmen likely to face the West Indies in the World Cup opener, in exactly four months. More pertinently, the squad also face world champions India on this ground in their penultimate match.
For Wilson it has been a particularly frustrating tour. As a late arrival because of his county commitments, the Surrey captain has had only one innings.
"And that ended in an unfortunate run-out," says Wilson.
"I was feeling good and had been hitting the ball well in the nets but then in the field when I went for a catch on the boundary, I whacked my shoulder.
"As yet we're not quite sure how long it will be. I'm taking it day by day, but I can't throw a ball yet although it would be great to be back for Saturday (when Ireland face a New Zealand XI in the Kiwis' final game before an ODI against South Africa on Tuesday).
Scotland fell just one run short of the New Zealanders total yesterday.