New Zealand’s veteran fast bowler Tim Southee has received the green light to join the national squad for the upcoming One-Day International (ODI) World Cup, marking a remarkable recovery after undergoing surgery for a fractured right thumb.
The 34-year-old cricketing stalwart had dislocated his thumb while attempting a catch during New Zealand’s fourth and final ODI against England at the iconic Lord’s cricket ground earlier this month. The subsequent surgery was deemed successful, and now Southee is set to take flight to India on Saturday with the determined goal of being fit for New Zealand’s inaugural World Cup fixture against England scheduled for October 5. If he manages to regain full fitness in time, it will be Southee’s fourth ODI World Cup appearance, having previously represented New Zealand in the tournament in 2011, 2015, and 2019. This also marks his seventh international visit to India, a country he is familiar with through his extensive cricketing career.
Joining Southee on the journey to India is fast bowler Kyle Jamieson, although he is not an official part of the 15-member World Cup squad. Instead, he will provide cover and additional depth to the squad. Jamieson was a part of the New Zealand side that recently defeated Bangladesh 2-0 in a three-match series leading up to the World Cup.
The New Zealand team already faces injury concerns, with their captain Kane Williamson currently recovering from a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury that he sustained during last season’s Indian Premier League (IPL). While Williamson has been included in the New Zealand World Cup squad, his availability for the initial matches of the tournament remains uncertain and will depend on his fitness progress in the coming days.
The second group of New Zealand players and support staff is scheduled to depart from Christchurch to India on Wednesday. Some additional players are set to join the squad from Bangladesh, creating a well-rounded team as they prepare for the highly anticipated ODI World Cup.
Before the World Cup officially kicks off, New Zealand will engage in two warm-up matches. They are slated to face Pakistan on September 29 in Hyderabad and South Africa on October 2 in Thiruvananthapuram. These warm-up games will provide the team with crucial preparation and a final chance to fine-tune their strategies before the commencement of the World Cup in Ahmedabad. Cricket enthusiasts worldwide eagerly await the action and drama that the ODI World Cup promises to deliver.