New Zealand’s untarnished start to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup took a blow as their captain, Kane Williamson, has been ruled out with a thumb fracture. He is not expected to return until the latter stages of the competition.
During a risky run attempt against Bangladesh in Chennai on Friday, Williamson got hit on his left thumb by an off-target throw. Later, X-Ray scans revealed that the seasoned right-hander sustained an undisplaced fracture.
“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. Tom Blundell will travel to India as cover,” the official X account of New Zealand confirmed.
Tom Blundell is set to travel to India as a contingency plan in case Williamson isn’t fit to return to the tournament. Meanwhile, New Zealand‘s head coach, Gary Stead, is holding out hope that Williamson can still play a part in their campaign.
“Firstly, we’re all feeling for Kane to have this occur after all his hard work to return from his knee injury,” Stead said.
“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.”
New Zealand will next face Afghanistan on October 18 at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai.