New Zealand have been dealt with a massive blow with their star fast bowler Lockie Ferguson ruled out of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 with a calf tear. New Zealand Cricket (NZC) confirmed the developments minutes ahead of their tournament opener against Pakistan.
“Ferguson felt tightness in his right calf following training and a subsequent MRI scan on game-day revealed a grade two tear which would require three to four weeks recovery,” the NZC statement said.
It is a real blow for the Kiwis considering the form Lockie Ferguson was in. Barring the final game against Chennai Super Kings, Ferguson was economical and played an instrumental role in guiding Kolkata Knight Riders to the final.
New Zealand head coach Gary Stead also threw his support to Lockie Ferguson, saying that he was an integral part of their T20 plans.
“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,” Stead said. “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,” he added.
Adam Milne to replace Lockie Ferguson
New Zealand have opted for a like-for-like replacement, bringing in Adam Milne in place of Lockie Ferguson. Milne is currently in the UAE and will be a part of the squad only after ICC’s official approval. Gary Stead admitted that they are fortunate to have Milne as a replacement.
“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,” Stead said.