Yorkshire’s T20 signing Lockie Ferguson expecting plenty of World Cup chat

“SURPRISINGLY, you’re the first to bring it up,” quipped Lockie Ferguson, the New Zealand fast bowler, when asked yesterday about the 2019 World Cup final on a Zoom call with journalists.

DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 13: Lockie Ferguson of New Zealand looks on during the third game of the One Day International Series between New Zealand and Pakistan at University of Otago Oval on January 13, 2018 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (Photo by Dianne Manson/Getty Images)

“It’s been mentioned every day, I think, since I got here (to England), but, yeah, we all know what happened and what a great game of cricket it was.

“We were gutted, obviously, with how things panned out but, at the same time, England played some incredible cricket for three years building up to that and were deserved winners on the day.

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“I expect to get asked about it a lot while I’m here with Yorkshire, but there’s plenty of cool stories from that game because there were so many ebbs and flows.”

Familiar foes: Yorkshire have three World Cup winners in their ranks - Jonny Bairstow, left, Adil Rashid (right) and Joe Root. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire.

Ferguson, who has joined Yorkshire for the T20 Blast as overseas player, and will debut in tomorrow’s sold-out opening game against Birmingham Bears at Emerald Headingley, was one of the stars of the competition as New Zealand reached a Lord’s final famously decided by Super Over.

The Auckland right-armer, who turns 30 this Sunday, was the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 21 at 19.47 behind Australia’s Mitchell Starc and was named in the ICC Team of the Tournament alongside Kane Williamson, the New Zealand captain.

“We were just exhausted after that final but still at the same time incredibly proud with how we performed,” added Ferguson, who took three wickets in the game and also a brilliant catch at full stretch running in from the point boundary to dismiss Eoin Morgan, the England captain. “To take it that close, being the away team, was pretty exciting for the lads.

“It’s always been the nature of us (New Zealand) to be the underdogs, but I think in that comp we showed that we are one of the better teams in all formats.”

Ferguson is following in the footsteps of Williamson, of course, who has played many times for Yorkshire down the years, and he is now team-mates with some of those England players who inflicted on him and New Zealand their World Cup heartbreak.

For Jonny Bairstow and Adil Rashid are available for the first five group matches – Ferguson is available for all 14 and possibly the knockouts – and Yorkshire hope that Joe Root will feature at some stage too, giving Yorkshire a trio of World Cup winners.

As Ferguson said: “The coolest part about playing T20 comps around the world is, yes, of course as international cricketers we play for our country and it’s all very competitive, but quite easily the next month or the next year you could be playing alongside the same guys you just played against.

“Of course there will be great opportunities (at Yorkshire) to learn and talk about the game, but just as importantly to share a few stories over a beer or two with those lads to see how they saw that game (the World Cup final), how you saw it, to hear how they acted after it happened, the celebrations and the like.

“Certainly it’s going to be great to have those lads on my side this year, and on paper we’ve got a very good side with plenty of experience and all bases covered.”

Ferguson, who is set to feature in The Hundred too, said that he had been quickly integrated into the Yorkshire set-up after arriving in England last week.

“All the Yorkshire boys are genuinely great blokes,” he said. “They’ve made me feel very welcome. They’re easy-going guys but, of course, fierce competitors too. I’m really looking forward to getting out on the park with them.”

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