New Zealand fast bowler Lockie Ferguson is set to miss their final clash in the league stage of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. New Zealand will be taking on the hosts England before the knock-outs begin. “Lockie Ferguson has a tight left hamstring and will miss today’s match against England as a precaution”, the official twitter account of the New Zealand cricket board tweeted.
Ferguson is the second highest wicket taker in the World Cup with 17 wickets behind Mitchell Starc and is an integral part of the New Zealand unit. New Zealand have almost qualified for the semi-finals and only a miracle would see them out of the competition. Hence, Ferguson need not be risked ahead of the tough knockout phase, which begins on 9th July. New Zealand also have a capable replacement in the form of Tim Southee who had a dream game with figures of 7/33 when New Zealand last met England in World Cup. England need to win the game to keep their destiny in their hands.
The news of Ferguson’s injury might have put a smile in England’s camp, but not as much in Pakistan’s camp. Pakistan’s qualifying scenario depends completely on this match and they would want New Zealand to win it. New Zealand, England and Pakistan sit at 11,10 and 9 points respectively, and a win for England will ensure all but Pakistan’s exit. Pakistan have a match aginst Bangladesh on the 5th of July and all of Pakistan will be glues to the clash between England and New Zealand.
The news of Ferguson’s injury would be worrying for New Zealand as they have been slightly off pace after a bright start to the tournament. New Zealand were unbeaten in the tournament for six games before suffering losses to Pakistan and Australia in the last two games. They would hope the injury is not very serious and Ferguson will be available for the next match.