Kane Williamson to be included in New Zealand’s 15-man squad for 2023 ODI World Cup

New Zealand’s white-ball skipper Kane Williamson will be a part of the 15-member squad for the upcoming Men’s World Cup in India as he is on his way to recover from right knee surgery, the New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has informed.

Notably, Williamson had injured his right knee while playing for Gujarat Titans in the opening match of IPL 2023 against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on March 31 in Ahmedabad. Williamson had jumped up on the deep square leg boundary while trying to save a six off a shot from CSK opener Ruturaj Gaikwad however, he landed awkwardly on his right leg and had to be carried off the field immediately.

Later, Williamson was ruled out of the rest of IPL 2023 and had flied back home in early April for surgery, leaving his chances of playing in the ODI World Cup in India from October 5 to November 19 very slim.

The NZC said Williamson has made significant improvement. Currently, Williamson, all set to feature in his fourth Men’s ODI World Cup, is with the New Zealand white-ball squad in England, continuing his rehab from injury.

“Through this entire process, I have tried to keep an open mind on when I might be able to return to cricket and not get too focused on one date or match. Being selected doesn’t change that and I know there’s still work to do and day-by-day goals to tick off to get back on the field with the team,” said Williamson.

Meanwhile, New Zealand head coach Gary Stead said despite being confirmed for the showpiece event, Williamson’s selection for the first match against England on October 5 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad remains uncertain as he continues to make strong progress in his recovery.

“Kane has applied phenomenal dedication to his rehabilitation and has been supported by a strong group of experts around him. He’s left no stone unturned in trying to get back to playing cricket at the highest level. We are delighted to be in a place to select him.”

“At the same time, he’s also kept perspective about his recovery and hasn’t wanted to rush or force his way back too early. As we’ve previously said, it’s great he wants to play cricket for New Zealand in the long term,” Stead said.

On the other hand, the remainder of the New Zealand squad will be announced on September 11 in Auckland.

Significantly, Williamson was New Zealand’s highest run-getter in the last ODI World Cup in Englnd with 578 runs at an average of 82.57, including two tons and as many fifties.

He was also adjudged Player of the Tournament as New Zealand lost in the Super Over to England after scores were tied in the summit clash at Lord’s.

News Desk

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