Lauren Down ruled out of CWG 2022; Tahuhu, Green receive call-ups

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Reliable batter Lauren Down and bowler Jess Kerr have been ruled out of New Zealand’s squad for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, New Zealand cricket announced on Friday.

In place of them, Lea Tahuhu, and uncapped Claudia Green have been called-up as replacements.

According to New Zealand cricket press release, Down has withdrawn from the event squad in order to prioritise her well-being, while Kerr’s foot injury forced her to be out of the commonwealth games which is scheduled to be played later this month.

Kerr witnessed the injury in her foot during the final ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup match against Pakistan. While she has healed and is on back training, but her return to competitive cricket before the Games’ schedules is very unlikely.

However she is targeting a return to international cricket for her team’s tour to West Indies in September.

What head coach feels about the current developments 

The head coach of New Zealand Ben Sawyer expressed his concerns to play without Down and Kerr.

“Our first and foremost priority is to ensure that Lauren and Jess are taken care of – it’s never easy to miss cricket rounds. We’ve made sure Lauren gets the support she needs and hope she can join us again soon”. Said Sawyer.

“We thought Jess would recover in time to take the pitch in Birmingham. And while that hasn’t happened the signs are good for an international return for the West Indies tour in September.

On the inclusion of Tahuhu and Green in squad the head coach said. “Lea is a familiar face so will be able to hit the ground running at training camp next week. We’ve previously said it’s important not to confuse contracting with selection. And this is a good example of why. Lea offers genuine pace and bounce with the ball. And her ability with the bat gives us options.

“Claudia has a similar skill-set to Jess so fits nicely into the squad make-up. Her ability to swing the ball is an exciting aspect of her game. And we look forward to having her on tour in England.”

New Zealand Women will have to take part in the training camp in Lincoln next week before heading for England on July 12.

After reaching England, they will play warm-up games to make themselves charged and focused for the Commonwealth Games which will begin on July 28.

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