New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has suffered an undisplaced fracture to his left thumb, ruling him out of action for a period of time. Williamson sustained the injury while batting against Bangladesh in Chennai on Friday night. The New Zealand Cricket (NZC) stated that Williamson will remain in the Black Caps camp, aiming to be available for the back end of pool play next month.
The team has summoned Tom Blundell who will travel to India as a cover but will not officially be part of the squad, while Williamson rehabilitates the injury.
Coach Gary Stead expressed his disappointment over Williamson’s injury, adding that the team is hopeful of the New Zealand captain’s speedy recovery. “Firstly, we’re all feeling for Kane to have this occur after all his hard work to return from his knee injury,” Stead said.
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“While it’s disappointing news, the initial diagnosis has given us some optimism he can still feature later in the pool play following a period of rest and rehabilitation. Kane is clearly a massive part of our side and a world-class player and captain – so we’ll look to give him every opportunity we can to return in the tournament,” he added.
An X-ray has confirmed an undisplaced fracture to Kane Williamson’s left thumb.
He will remain in the @cricketworldcup squad with the aim of being available for the back end of pool play next month.
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) October 14, 2023
Stead said Blundell’s versatility saw him selected to join the squad as cover, while Henry Nicholls wasn’t considered after suffering a mild side strain during Canterbury’s Plunket Shield warm-up match against Otago during the week.
“Tom’s been with the one-day side on tours to Pakistan and Bangladesh and performed well,” he said. “He covers multiple positions in the batting order and his wicket-keeping skills are also an added bonus as a back-up,” he added.
New Zealand will now face Afghanistan on Wednesday at the M Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.