The 2022 World Cup host New Zealand has suffered a huge blow just days before the big tournament gets underway as star batter Lauren Down has been ruled out due to an injury. Player of the Match of the 3rd ODI against India last week, Down injured her right thumb while taking the catch of Shafali Verma during the fifth ODI of the series, never did she think that it would eliminate her chance of making her debut ODI World Cup appearance this year.
Sharing the unfortunate news on their handle, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) confirmed that Down went for scans that have revealed a fracture and so she would go back home and will be replaced by young, uncapped batter Georgia Plimmer.
Unfortunate for Lauren Down who was exceptional throughout the ODI Series, but will miss ODI World Cup owing to an injury she picked up after taking a stunning catch.
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) February 25, 2022
Down’s exclusion is a major upset for not just her teammates but also for her fans who were looking forward to watching her play in her home country.
“Quite simply, the entire squad is absolutely gutted for Lauren.” the team’s head coach Bob Carter said as reported by NZC on their official website (nzc.nz)
“She’s a very popular member of the group and it’s fair to say the team were quite emotional when we got the news she was out of the tournament.”
“You saw the impact Lauren had in the recent series against India; she played some really mature innings in the middle order and her fielding was at an exceptional standard.”
“We wish her all the best with her recovery and know she’ll be supporting us throughout the tournament.” he added.
18 years old Plimmer who has replaced Down has been in good form lately representing Wellington Blaze in the country’s ongoing domestic women’s one-day cricket competition as well as the recently concluded Women’s Super Smash where she was part of the squad that was crowned as the Champions.
The report further informed that Auckland Hearts bowler Molly Penfold will also be joining the team as a traveling reserve and both Plimmer and Penfold will undergo the necessary five-day ‘bridging in’ isolation period before officially joining the squad that plays Pakistan and Australia on February 27 and March 1 respectively in the warm-up matches before heading into the main tournament where they compete against West Indies in the inaugural match of the tournament on March 4.
Author of the poetry book ‘The Scent of Rhythm’, I am a passionate writer and a Sports enthusiast who writes on Cricket and plays Badminton.