Gary Stead and Kane Williamson. (Photo Source: Twitter/ICC)
Kane Williamson has been out of action since rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the season opener of the Indian Premier League 2023. He recently started batting in the nets and will continue his rehab over the next few weeks in the hope of getting fit in time for the ODI World Cup scheduled to be played in October-November in India. The last date to announce the squad for the showpiece event is September 5. However, changes can be made to the side till the last week of September.
New Zealand head coach Gary Stead was optimistic about Williamson’s chances of participation in the 10-team tournament. However, he mentioned that ACL injuries are difficult and the medical team will assess how the star batter progresses over the next few weeks before making a call regarding the World Cup.
“We will take every measure we can to make sure that we get the medical advice that lines up and he’s where we want to be before we make that call on whether he goes [to India for the World Cup] or not. It’s too early to know,” Stead was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“Kane’s working very much on a day-by-day, week-by-week process and we’ve been really clear and careful with him that we don’t look too far ahead and, I guess, get expectations too big or not big enough at times as well. He’s progressed as we’ve hoped and possibly even better in some cases but you know with ACL injuries that they can be difficult, and different for every person as well. As I said, we’ll try and get the medical experts around Kane as much as we can to help us make that decision in about three weeks’ time.”
Kane Williamson to accompany the New Zealand team on the tour of England
New Zealand‘s next assignment is a three-match T20I series against the UAE in Dubai this month. This will be followed by four T20Is and as many ODIs in England against Jos Buttler’s men. Stead confirmed that Williamson will be traveling with the team to England. According to the 51-year-old, Williamson will be continuing his path to a comeback during the tour and the team will also get to learn from his experience of playing in World Cups.
“In terms of him being there (England), he’ll be getting a bit of training under his belt, being in and around the squad. Kane’s been to a number of World Cups and he’s been a key player for us for a long, long time. Leaning on his experience as well will be important to the group but alternately it’s about seeing is he going to be ready or not for us and that’s something only time will tell,” Stead concluded.