In what comes as a massive blow for New Zealand, fast bowler Lockie Ferguson has been ruled out of the ongoing T20 World Cup with a calf tear.
The 30-year-old has now been replaced in the 15-man-squad by right-arm pacer Adam Milne.
According to a New Zealand Cricket (NZC) statement, Ferguson felt tightness in his right calf following training Tuesday night with a subsequent MRI scan revealed a grade two tear which would require three to four weeks recovery.
“BLACKCAPS paceman Lockie Ferguson has been ruled out of the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE with a calf tear. Ferguson will be replaced in the 15-player tournament squad by Adam Milne subject to approval by the ICC Technical Committee,” NZC said in a tweet.
Commenting on it, New Zealand head coach Gary Stead said: “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.”
“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. However, we are fortunate to have a like for like replacement in the form of Adam Milne who has been with the squad training for the past two weeks,” he was quoted as saying NZC.
Earlier, Ferguson had played in the second game of New Zealand’s pre-tournament warm-up against England on October 20, where he had returned with figures of 1/19.
In the recently concluded season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Ferguson had featured in eight games for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the UAE and had scalped 13 wickets with an economy of 7.46.
On the other side, Ferguson’s replacement in the side, Milne, had featured for Mumbai Indians (MI) and had bagged three wickets from as many games in the UAE leg of the cash-rich league.
New Zealand has begun their T20 World Cup campaign against Pakistan in Sarjah and have been asked to bat first. The Kane Williamson-led New Zealand will next take on Team India, on Sunday (October 31) in Dubai.
The Kiwis will then take on Scotland, Namibia and Afghanistan on November 3, 5 and 7 in Dubai, Sarjah and Abu Dhabi respectively.