New Zealand paceman Lockie Ferguson has been ruled out of the T20 World Cup in the UAE with a calf tear, it was announced minutes before his team’s opening game against Pakistan on Tuesday.
The 30-year-old injury-prone bowler had played the IPL rescheduled matches and was with the squad and had bowled three overs in the warm-up match against Australia on 20 October.
“Ferguson felt tightness in his right calf following training last night [Tuesday] and a subsequent MRI scan on game day revealed a grade-two tear which would require three to four weeks recovery,” a media release from New Zealand Cricket read.
With the Black Caps set to play five pool games over the next 13 days, coach Gary Stead said they had no option but to rule Ferguson out of the tournament.
“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.
“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 indicated Ferguson would be replaced in the 15-player tournament squad by Milne subject to approval by the ICC technical committee.
Milne is already in the UAE with the team having been selected in the squad as travelling injury cover, but won’t be available to play until ICC approval has been received making him unavailable for the Group 2 match against Pakistan in Sharjah.
© Agence France-Presse