The Black Caps have suffered a brutal blow on the eve of the Twenty20 World Cup, with star seamer Lockie Ferguson ruled out of the tournament with a calf tear.
Ferguson felt tightness in his right calf after the Black Caps' training on Tuesday, and a subsequent MRI scan just hours before their first match against Pakistan revealed a grade two tear.
The tear requires a recovery of three to four weeks, and with the Black Caps facing a schedule that includes five games in the next 13 days, Ferguson was ruled out of the tournament before he could bowl a ball.
"It's a real shame for Lockie to have this happen on the eve of the tournament and the entire team is really feeling for him right now," said Black Caps head coach Gary Stead.
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"He's a massive part of our T20 side and has been in such good form - so to lose him at this time is a blow.
"However, we are fortunate to have a like for like replacement in the form of Adam Milne who has been with the squad training for the past two weeks."
Milne was a baffling omission from the original 15-man squad, and his belated inclusion could keep the Black Caps bowling unit afloat, but Ferguson's blazing speed and impressive form had him set to be the attack's leading seamer in the UAE.
In 13 T20s for the Black Caps Ferguson has taken 24 wickets at an average of 13.2 and economy rate of just 6.9 runs per over, and his absence will leave pressure on not only Milne to step up, but also senior seamers Tim Southee and Trent Boult.
Milne only received ICC approval to replace Ferguson after the Black Caps' opening game, and as a result the Black Caps were a bowler light in their side to play Pakistan, with Southee, Boult and spinners Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi joined by all-rounders Jimmy Neesham and Daryl Mitchell, and the part-time tweaking option of Glenn Phillips.