Down injured her thumb while taking a catch at the point in the fifth ODI against India in Queenstown. She immediately left the field and took no further part in the match. Subsequent scans revealed a fracture.
“Quite simply, the entire squad is absolutely gutted for Lauren,” New Zealand head coach Bob Carter said expressing his disappointment. “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.”
Down made her ODI debut against West Indies in 2018 and since then has played 22 ODIs for New Zealand. She has scored 352 runs, including the highest score of 90 against Australia at Mount Maunganui in 2021. Recently, she scored 64 off 52 balls in the third ODI against India to seal the five-match series.
"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," Carter said.
Also Read: New Zealand batting unit clicking at the right time ahead of the World Cup
New Zealand Cricket has confirmed that Down will return home and await medical advice on the next steps of her recovery. Plimmer, the right-handed batter from Wellington has been added to the World Cup squad. Meanwhile, right-arm medium pacer Molly Penfold has been added as a travelling reserve player.
Both Plimmer and Penfold will undergo the necessary five-day "bridging in" isolation period before officially joining the squad.
The New Zealand team will play their warm-up matches on February 27 against Pakistan and March 1 against Australia. They will begin their campaign of the World Cup against West Indies in
New Zealand Squad for World Cup: Sophie Devine (C), Amy Satterthwaite (VC), Suzie Bates, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Hayley Jensen, Fran Jonas, Jess Kerr, Amelia Kerr, Frances Mackay, Rosemary Mair, Katey Martin, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu, Georgia Plimmer.