Despite his knee injury, New Zealand has decided to include Kane Williamson in its team for the 50-over World Cup next month.
The 33-year-old leader of the Black Caps in both ODIs and T20s has been sidelined since damaging his cruciate ligaments during the Indian Premier League in April.
While New Zealand believes he has made “sufficient progress” to be selected, his availability for the October 5 match against England cannot be guaranteed.
Coach Gary Stead remarked, “We are delighted to be in a position to select him.”
He has exhausted every possible avenue in his pursuit of a return to professional cricket.
We will keep an eye on his development over the next month leading up to the first match of the tournament since “the World Cup is not a short tournament.”
It was announced by New Zealand that Williamson was “unlikely to be fit and available for selection” for the tournament in India due to the injury and “standard rehabilitation timelines”
Williamson added, “I have tried not to get too focused on one date or match for my return to cricket and to keep an open mind throughout this entire process.”
“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.”
Williamson has been on tour with the Black Caps in England, although he hasn’t been included in either the T20 or 50-over squads. He has been doing drills in the field and batting in the nets.
Williamson captained New Zealand in the 2019 World Cup final against England at Lord’s, and he is one of his country’s finest batsmen across all forms. In 161 ODIs, he has scored 6,554 runs at an average of 47.83.
The World Cup features a five-week round-robin stage with 10 teams, followed by semifinals and a final, so he could technically enter the event in the middle.
On Monday, September 11th, New Zealand will announce the rest of their roster.
On Tuesday, England and New Zealand will play in the fourth T20 before four ODIs at Trent Bridge. England now leads the series 2-1.