Auckland, Aug 29 (PTI) New Zealand white-ball skipper Kane Williamson has been given two weeks to prove his fitness for the ODI World Cup in India, starting October 5.
The star batter hasn’t played any cricket since March when he ruptured the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in his right knee while fielding for Gujarat Titans in the IPL. He underwent surgery in April.
However, his progress in recent weeks has given the Black Caps hope that the talismanic batter will make a comeback in the marquee event.
“We’ve got about two weeks from now until we name that (World Cup) side,” head coach Gary Stead said.
“We’re going to give him the full two weeks to prove where he’s at and for us it’s still a little bit of crystal ball-gazing, where he will be at.” All teams need to submit their 15-member squads to the ICC by September 5 while changes can be made till September 27.
“We’re going to give him every chance to use that full amount of time. He’s in full rehab mode, he’s back batting in the nets again, which is great to see.
“He’s progressing really well, but there’s a lot of work for him still to do to make sure he gets where we need him to be.” Williamson has linked up with the New Zealand squad for the white-ball tour of England, starting Wednesday. The Black Caps play four T20Is and as many ODIs before moving to India where they play two World Cup warm-up games on September 29 and October 2.
New Zealand play England in the tournament opener in Ahmedabad on October 5.
Stead reiterated that there could be a chance that even if the Black Caps include Williamson in the squad, he may not play the first few games.
Tom Latham, who has been leading New Zealand in Williamson’s absence, will be captaining the side in the marquee event as well.
“They’re all the things that we are weighing up right now,” Stead said.
“There’s a chance that even if Kane was named that he may not be available right at the start of the tournament. But he also might be, and he also might not be ready.” “Of course we want him at the World Cup, but there is that bigger picture that we want Kane Williamson fit for the rest of his career,” added Stead.
“There will be honest conversations that Kane and I will have around exactly where he is at.”
Source: PTI News