New Zealand star ruled out of ICC T20 World Cup

New Zealand pacer Lockie Ferguson has been ruled out of the International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to a calf injury. 

According to a statement by New Zealand Cricket (NZC), Ferguson felt a tightness in his right calf during training the day before their Group 2 opener against Pakistan. Subsequent MRI scans revealed that Ferguson had sustained a grade two tear, needing a recovery period of three to four weeks.

New Zealand kick off their World Cup campaign against Pakistan on 26 October before taking on India, Scotland, Namibia and Afghanistan in the Super 12 stage, all within a span of 13 days.

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“It’s a real shame for Lockie to have this happen on the eve of the tournament and the entire team is really feeling for him right now,” said Gary Stead, the head coach of New Zealand. “He’s a massive part of our T20 side and has been in such good form – so to lose him at this time is a blow.”

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Stead also indicated that Adam Milne would replace Ferguson in the squad, pending approval from the ICC Technical Committee. “However, we are fortunate to have a like for like replacement in the form of Adam who has been with the squad training for the past two weeks,” Stead added.

Milne has been part of the touring contingent in the UAE as a reserve player in view of COVID-19 quarantine requirements. Milne, who lasted played a T20I for New Zealand in April 2021, has picked 28 wickets in 23 matches at an economy of 7.69.

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