New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has not fully recovered from knee surgery. New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said that Williamson will not be able to play in New Zealand’s first match in the World Cup. New Zealand will begin their title campaign against England on the opening day of the World Cup in India on October 5.
New Zealand will face Pakistan in a warm-up match today at noon (2:30 pm) in Hyderabad. Williamson will play only as a batsman in this match. NZC are hoping Williamson will be able to field as well as bat in the second warm-up match against South Africa on Monday. New Zealand coach Gary Steed said Williamson will be given the time he needs to recover from injury surgery and regain match fitness.
In this regard, Steed said, “We have thought from the beginning that it will take a long time for Kane to return to the game. His recovery is being monitored. Can handle the pressure of international cricket – now it is our responsibility to ensure that. We have been keeping an eye on Kane’s rehabilitation for days. We do not want to return him to the field before he is ready.
Williamson suffered an ACL injury in the IPL this year. He then underwent knee surgery. Williamson was rehabilitating with the team in England. He wanted to prepare himself by playing New Zealand’s preparation matches in the World Cup. But now it is understood that it will take some time for Williamson to return to the field. However, Williamson may not be in the starting part of the World Cup, as was said earlier.
Tom Latham will captain New Zealand in their first World Cup match against England in Williamson’s absence. The opener will also captain New Zealand in two warm-up matches. New Zealand will face the Netherlands in their second World Cup match on October 9. New Zealand Cricket expects Williamson to be fully fit before this match.