Big blow to New Zealand team, injured Lockie Ferguson out of T20 World Cup

Sharjah: New Zealand’s T20 World Cup campaign suffered a major setback when fast bowler Lockie Ferguson was ruled out of the prestigious tournament with a ‘grade II’ calf injury ahead of the team’s first match against Pakistan on Tuesday.

Fast bowler Adam Milne will replace him in the 15-man squad if approved by the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) technical committee.

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said in a press release that Ferguson, 30, felt a stiffness in his right calf after training on Monday night. This was followed by an MRI scan which revealed a grade II injury that would take three to four weeks to heal.

“This happening on the eve of the tournament is disappointing for Lockie and the entire team is disappointed for him at the moment,” head coach Gary Stead said in a statement.

New Zealand have five pool matches to play in the next 13 days and coach Stead said they had no option but to drop Ferguson from the tournament.

“He is an important part of our T20 team and was in very good form so it is a big blow to lose him at this point of time,” Stead said.

“However, we are fortunate to have the same option as Adam who has been training with the team for the past two weeks,” he added.

Milne has been in the UAE since New Zealand included him in the squad as cover in case of injury. However, he will be available only after getting approval from the ICC.

Lockie Ferguson, who played for Kolkata Knight Riders, took 13 wickets in 8 matches. Lockie had become a big name from the 2019 ODI World Cup itself.

In the ODI World Cup 2019, Lockie Ferguson took 21 wickets at an average of 19 in 9 matches. He was the second successful bowler in the list of highest wicket-takers. His best performance in this tournament was to take 5 wickets for 26 runs.

For the New Zealand team, he could repeat the same performance in the T20 World Cup as well but he will soon leave for home without playing a match.