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Williamson’s World Cup hopes in doubt after thumb fracture

Williamson’s World Cup hopes in doubt after thumb fracture

Williamson’s World Cup hopes in doubt after thumb fracture

Williamson’s World Cup hopes in doubt after thumb fracture

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  • Kane Williamson fractured his left thumb.
  • He will be out of the team for two World Cup games.
  • Tom Blundell has been called in as cover.
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One day after being struck by a toss in the left hand during the game against Bangladesh in Chennai, Kane Williamson was declared out of the game on Saturday with an “undisplaced fracture” to his left thumb by New Zealand Cricket.

NZC reports that Williamson will stay with the team “with the aim of being available for the back end of pool play next month” after an X-ray confirmed the injury. Wicketkeeper-batter Tom Blundell, who is currently not formally a member of the squad, will be flown into India as cover.

“Firstly, we’re all feeling for Kane to have this occur after all his hard work to return from his knee injury,” head coach Gary 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.”

The physio first wrapped Williamson’s thumb and wrist shortly after he was hit at the beginning of New Zealand’s chase against Bangladesh in the 38th over. However, he later left the game injured in the 39th over, with New Zealand just missing their goal. With 43 balls left, they won by eight wickets, their third consecutive World Cup victory.

Williamson made his comeback to the international scene in the match against Bangladesh. He had torn his ACL during the IPL season opening in late March. After being out of cricket for almost six months, he only played again in the two World Cup warm-up matches against Pakistan and South Africa, when he struck 54* and 37, respectively.

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Williamson is still recovering, but he was named in New Zealand’s World Cup roster. Prior to the World Cup, he had traveled and practiced with the team in England.

“[It needed] a little bit of icing afterwards, but it’s all part of the process,” Williamson had said after his half-century in the warm-up against Pakistan. “Yeah, it [playing the World Cup] wasn’t a reality certainly five months ago and [I’ve] been quite fortunate with some of that recovery, and to be named in the squad is really exciting for me… It was nice to do that today.”

Despite Williamson missing New Zealand’s opening two World Cup games—against the Netherlands and England—the team led by Tom Latham went on to win both contests handily. On October 18, New Zealand will play Afghanistan, also in Chennai, with Latham most likely filling in as captain once more.

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