New Zealand Pacer Lockie Ferguson ruled out of T20 WC due to calf injury

Lockie Ferguson has been ruled out of the T20 World Cup 2021 due to a calf injury, New Zealand Cricket said in a statement less than an hour before the team’s first game, against Pakistan in Sharjah, on Tuesday.
 
Ferguson will be replaced by Adam Milne, who was already part of the reserves, in a like-for-like right-arm fast paceman substitute – subject to approval from the ICC’s technical committee.
 
“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.
 
New Zealand’s schedule for the group stage matches of the T20 World Cup will have them playing five games in 13 days. Yes,that’s a very tight and busy schedule. So coach Gary Stead said they had no option but to rule Ferguson out of the tournament.
Head Coach Gary Stead’s statement

“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.”

Like for Like Replacement Adam Milne

Milne is already in the UAE with the team, having been selected in the squad as traveling injury reserve, but won’t be available to play until ICC approval has been received, making him unavailable for the game against Pakistan. Milne was involved in the IPL playing for Mumbai Indians. He played three matches for the franchise.

Milne began well for Mumbai but a combination of an expensive game and Mumbai’s need to have depth in their batting line-up meant he was left out after that. However, he came into the IPL’s second leg on the back of a terrific show in the the Hundred, he was not only one of the joint top-four wicket takers there.

He also had the best economy rate of all bowlers while regularly bowling at over 90mph. Milne has also bowled more balls in T20 cricket in 2021 than he has in any other year so far.

Milne’s statement over the surprise inclusion 

“I’m just going to go about it how I would usually if I was in the team,” Milne said. “Just try and train and play hard, prepare as well as I can. If something happens, I know I’ve got a chance and I’m ready to go.

“It’s been good to be injury free. I played in the Vitality Blast in England, the Hundred, and then the second half of the IPL. Excited to be back and playing, it’s been a great year. Being on the park is a great start. I’ve had a lot of trouble with that so it’s been nice to sort of be able to play consistent cricket.

It allows you to work on your game rather than go in starts and stops. (You) take the good performances with the bad ones and hopefully ride out that wave of cricket that comes.

“It’s nice to be around the New Zealand boys after having been away for so long. It’s a nice environment.”

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