New Zealand have been dealt with a massive hit right ahead of the Women’s World Cup. In-form batter Lauren Down has been ruled out from the premier competition owing to a thumb fracture sustained in her right hand. The injury happened during White Ferns’ final game against India in the recently concluded series.
Down suffered the injury while trying to take a catch and according to head coach Bob Carter will now fly home to seek medical advice. The 26-year-old has been in brilliant form in the run up to the World Cup and even scored a match-winning 64* off just 52 balls to help her team chase down a record 280 runs in New Zealand.
Many believed that the innings had sealed Down’s place at #6 for the World Cup before this injury occurred two games later. Coach Carter added that the team is absolutely gutted to have lost Down and that she is a “very popular member of the group and it’s fair to say that the team were quite emotional” after hearing the news.
Down has been replaced with Georgia Plimmer in the squad. Plimmer, 18, is yet to represent the national side in any format and huge shoes to fill.
New Zealand have already entered the World Cup bubble and are preparing for their warm-up games ahead of the main draw which starts off on 4 March against West Indies.