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ICC CWC 2023: New Zealand captain Kane Williamson given two weeks deadline to prove fitness

August 28, 2023 2:18 PM IST

2023 cwc news | kane williamson | williamson fitness | gary stead | new zealand world cup squad | acl | 2023 wc schedule | icc cricket world cup

In a race against time, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has been given a two-week deadline by head coach Gary Stead, to prove his fitness before the World Cup squad is announced.

The 33-year-old’s chances of participating in this year’s World Cup were initially thought to be slim due to a ruptured ACL in his right knee sustained during the opening match of IPL 2023, where he played for Gujarat Titans against Chennai Super Kings earlier this year.

However, he has recently shown significant progress in his effort to lead his country in the 50-over showcase. He returned to batting in the nets with his teammates as they prepare for an important white-ball series against England, starting from August 30.

New Zealand coach Gary Stead mentioned that while Williamson’s recovery was going well, there were still certain criteria he needed to meet before being considered for selection. The team has about two weeks until they announce the squad, and they plan to utilize this time fully. Williamson is in full rehabilitation mode, batting in the nets again, which is a positive sign. Despite his progress, there is still work to be done to ensure he reaches the required level of fitness.

Team’s have until September 5 to submit a preliminary squad for the 13th edition of the World Cup, with final lists due by September 28. Changes to the squad can only be made after this date with ICC approval.

Williamson, a seasoned veteran of three World Cup campaigns with the Kiwis, was outstanding in the most recent edition, scoring 578 runs with an impressive average of 82.57.

His experience at the biggest stage will be crucial for New Zealand as they aim to perform even better in 2023. Stead emphasized that the team is exploring all possibilities to include their skipper.

New Zealand’s World Cup journey is set to begin with a rematch of the thrilling 2019 final, as they face England in Ahmedabad on October 5.

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