The New Zealand cricket team has suffered a body bow as express Kiwi pacer Lockie Ferguson is likely to miss the entire ongoing tri-series involving Bangladesh and Pakistan due to a minor abdominal injury. New Zealand aim to protect the fast bowler’s fitness for the T20 World Cup, Head Coach Stead said every necessary precaution will be taken to ensure he’s fit for the World Cup.

“Lockie has a little ab injury at the moment. We’re just managing just that and the most important thing is we get to the start of the World Cup and Lockie is ready to go,” Stead said. “He’s a very, very important cog in our bowling line-up. Unfortunately for him, he missed last year’s World Cup with the injury he had then. I mean we are mindful of it and we want to make sure that he’s right and ready for those early games in the World Cup.

“There is that chance of him missing the entire tri-series. We will just see how he responds to treatment over the next few days.”

The 31-year-old fast bowler also missed last year’s T20 World Cup due to a calf tear and, after a minor abdominal injury, it would be a cruel twist for Ferguson if he misses out. With the extra pace that Ferguson offers, his absence could be a huge blow for the Kiwis, who are already sweating on the fitness of pacer Adam Milne.

Though Stead is happy with Milne’s progress and his bowling in the nets, his utmost priority is to manage him carefully in tri series so he can get fully fit ahead of the global tournament.

“It’s the first time I’ve had eyes live on Milne at the nets and he looked really good,” Stead said. “We’re pleased with what we are seeing there and again he is coming off a reasonably extensive injury break as well, so just managing him and making sure he’s right will be the most important thing for us in these four games.”

The Blackcaps are already without the services of Daryl Mitchell after he fractured his hand in training on Friday, though the batter is hopeful of recovering in time for New Zealand’s World Cup opener against Australia at the SCG on October 22. Dane Cleaver has been named as Mitchell’s replacement for the tri-series.

Mitchell told Spark Sport on the sidelines of New Zealand’s tri-series opener against Pakistan on Saturday,” Obviously, not ideal timing but we’ve got some good news around where the fracture is in the hand and the time frame to be ready for the first game in Australia in a couple of weeks’ time. We’ll do everything we can to try and be ready and fingers crossed that I’ll be good to go.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *