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News

Minor abdominal injury to Ferguson depletes New Zealand further for tri-series

Daryl Mitchell, meanwhile, is hopeful of recovering from his finger fracture in time for New Zealand's T20 World Cup opener

Deivarayan Muthu
08-Oct-2022
Lockie Ferguson had been sidelined from the 2021 T20 World Cup with a calf injury  •  SNS Group/Getty Images

Lockie Ferguson had been sidelined from the 2021 T20 World Cup with a calf injury  •  SNS Group/Getty Images

A minor abdominal injury to fast bowler Lockie Ferguson has depleted New Zealand further in the ongoing T20I tri-series, involving Pakistan and Bangladesh. The hosts are already without allrounders Daryl Mitchell, who has been sidelined from the entire tri-series with a fractured finger, and Mitchell Santner, who will join the squad on Sunday after his paternity break.
Given Ferguson's history of injuries - he had also been ruled out of last year's T20 World Cup with a calf tear - New Zealand will have to manage him carefully in the lead-up to this year's T20 World Cup. Head coach Gary Stead has said that there's a chance that Ferguson too might miss the entire tri-series.
"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."
New Zealand's other priority is to get Adam Milne fully fit ahead of the global tournament. Milne, who is also injury-prone, is working his way back from a persistent Achilles injury that forced him to miss the Hundred earlier this year. His last competitive game was in March when he made his IPL debut for Chennai Super Kings.
On Saturday, New Zealand picked Blair Tickner ahead of Milne.
"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."
Mitchell hopes to be fit for T20 World Cup
Mitchell, who was hit on the little finger of his right hand while batting in the nets on Friday, is hopeful of recovering in time for New Zealand's World Cup opener against Australia at the SCG on October 22.
"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," Mitchell told Spark Sport on the sidelines of New Zealand's tri-series opener against Pakistan on Saturday. "We'll do everything we can to try and be ready and fingers crossed that I'll be good to go.
Dane Cleaver, Kane Williamson's cousin, who had hit 83 against India A in a one-dayer in Chennai last month, has been named as Mitchell's replacement for the tri-series. Cleaver will also be the back-up wicketkeeper to Conway although Finn Allen has also occasionally done the job for his domestic side Wellington Firebirds.

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo