New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson is set to miss his side’s ODI World Cup opener against England as he is still recovering from a knee injury which threatened to rule him out of the tournament.
New Zealand Cricket, which released the news through its website, also confirmed that Williamson will play only as a batsman in the side’s first warm-up match against Pakistan in Hyderabad.
The Kiwis are aiming to test out their captain’s fielding preparedness in the next warm-up game against South Africa next week.
Williamson had undergone surgery after suffering a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in April.
“Right from the start we’ve taken a long-term view on Kane’s return to play. His recovery is tracking well and it’s now a matter of making sure he can cope with the rigours and intensity of international cricket,” said New Zealand coach Gary Stead.
“We’ll continue to take a day-by-day approach to Kane’s rehabilitation and certainly won’t be putting any pressure on him to return before he is ready.”
In Williamson’s absence, Tom Latham will take up the captaincy mantle against England, in what will be a repeat of the the epic 2019 World Cup final, which went in favour of the English side.
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