Nasty IPL injury likely to put Kane Williamson out of ODI World Cup, NZ head coach says 'huge spanner in our works'
The standard rehabilitation timelines mean that Williamson is now unlikely to be fit and available for selection at this year’s ICC ODI World Cup in India.
New Zealand ODI captain Kane Williamson is all but out of the World Cup slated to take place in India in October-November in India after scans revealed he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament while fielding in an IPL 2023 match, said New Zealand Cricket on Thursday. Williamson is set to undergo surgery within the next three weeks and will take considerable time to recover, which effectively rules him out of the mega event.
"The standard rehabilitation timelines mean that Williamson is now unlikely to be fit and available for selection at this year’s ICC ODI Cricket World Cup in India," said NZC in a release.
Williamson suffered the injury while attempting a catch of Ruturaj Gaikwad in the 13th over of the Chennai Super Kings innings in the IPL 2023 opener in Ahmedabad. He managed to save two runs for his side Gujarat Titans but was seen wincing in pain on the boundary line. After initial treatment on the sidelines, he was carried off the field. The experienced right-hander did not take further part in the match and was replaced by Impact Player Sai Sudharsan.
A couple of days later, GT confirmed that Williamson has been ruled out of the entire tournament. Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka was named as his replacement for the remainder of the tournament.
Williamson flew back home and the extent of the injury was known after he went for scans. After receiving the news Williamson wanted to acknowledge the support he’d received since sustaining the injury.
“I’ve received great support over the past few days and want to thank both the Gujarat Titans and New Zealand Cricket for that. Naturally, it’s disappointing to get such an injury, but my focus now is on having the surgery and starting rehab. It’s going to take some time, but I’ll be doing everything I can to get back on the field as soon as possible.”
While the World Cup now looked unlikely, Williamson vowed to support the team in any way he could.
“I look forward to doing what I can to support Gary and the team over the next few months.”
New Zealand head coach Gary Stead described Williamson's injury as 'a huge spanner' in their preparations for the World Cup.
"You take Kane the player for a start, but then Kane the leader and the person he is within our group as well, it's a huge spanner in the works for us," New Zealand coach Gary Stead said. "We haven't given up hope that he might be right but at this stage, it does look unlikely. Our first thoughts are with Kane at the moment, it's a tough time for him, it's not an injury you expect…it hits you pretty hard."
Tom Latham appears to be the frontrunner to lead New Zealand in the World Cup in Williamson's absence.