Twenty-four year-old O'Connor damaged the cartilage on his left knee while fielding during the Singer-Akai Nidahas trophy day/night game against Sri Lanka at the R. Premadasa Stadium on Sunday. New Zealand lost the match by seven wickets.
O'Connor will be replaced by Northern District medium-pacer Alex Tait who is expected to join the team shortly for the rest of the matches. Tait, short and accurate, he is one of the best bowlers in New Zealand domestic cricket for the past two years. In the recently concluded 1997-98 season, he took 38 wickets at a cost of 17.6 including a best return of 6 for 73. New Zealand are beset with an injury to allrounder Dion Nash who aggravated a ligament damage in his lower back during the same match.
Nash first suffered the injury about 18 months ago in the West Indies.
Both O'Connor and Nash missed out New Zealand's game against India yesteday.