Kane Williamson to miss ODI World Cup opener

Williamson had to undergo surgery after rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament

Kane Williamson

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson will miss the ODI World Cup opener against England as he continues his knee rehabilitation.

Williamson will play as a batter-only in Friday's first warm-up match against Pakistan here with the aim of batting and fielding in Monday's second and final warm-up against South Africa in Thiruvananthapuram. Williamson had to undergo a surgery after rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament during the IPL earlier this year.

Coach Gary Stead said the priority was ensuring Williamson had time to progress his return to match fitness. "Right from the start we've taken a long-term view on Kane's return to play," said Stead. "His recovery is tracking well and it's now a matter of making sure he can cope with the rigours and intensity of international cricket.”

"We'll continue to take a day-by-day approach to Kane's rehabilitation and certainly won't be putting any pressure on him to return before he is ready,” Stead said.

Tom Latham will captain the side in the first warm-up match against Pakistan. Senior pacer Tim Southee, who is recovering from surgery on his fractured thumb, will depart for India on Saturday. He is expected to be available for the World Cup opener against defending champions England.


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