New Zealand has given captain Kane Williamson a two-week deadline to prove his fitness for the ODI World Cup 2023 starting in October, head coach Gary Stead said on Monday.
The batsman tore the cruciate ligaments in his right knee while playing for Gujarat Titans in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in April.
The 33-year-old has recovered well and is batting in the nets, with a place in New Zealand’s 15-man squad now in sight.
“We’ve got about two weeks from now until we name that side,” Stead told New Zealand media.
“We’re going to give him every chance to use that full amount of time. He’s in full rehab mode, he’s back batting in the nets again, which is great to see.
“He’s progressing really well, but there’s a lot of work for him still to do to make sure he gets where we need him to be.”
Williamson has scored more than 6,500 runs in one-day international cricket and led New Zealand in its nail-biting defeat to England in the 2019 World Cup final.
New Zealand plays England in its opening game of the World Cup in Ahmedabad on October 5. As part of his recovery bid, Williamson is with the squad on their white-ball tour of England.
“Of course, we want him at the World Cup, but there is that bigger picture that we want Kane Williamson fit for the rest of his career,” added Stead.
“There will be honest conversations that Kane and I will have around exactly where he is at.”
All-rounder James Neesham has withdrawn from the Twenty-20 squad for the series against England, which starts on Wednesday, to return home ahead of the birth of his first child.
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