New Zealand’s Southee cleared for World Cup after thumb surgery

He will fly for India on Saturday and New Zealand are hopeful Southee will recover in time for the side's opening game in the mega-event on October 5 in Ahmedabad

September 27, 2023 10:50 pm | Updated 10:50 pm IST - Auckland

New Zealand’s Tim Southee. File.

New Zealand’s Tim Southee. File. | Photo Credit: AP

Veteran fast bowler Tim Southee has been cleared to join the New Zealand squad for the ODI World Cup in India, as he continues to recover from the surgery on his right thumb.

The 34-year-old broke and dislocated his right thumb while attempting to take a catch in the fourth ODI against England earlier this month.

He will fly for India on Saturday and New Zealand are hopeful Southee will recover in time for the side's opening game in the mega-event on October 5 in Ahmedabad.

"Tim Southee's been cleared to join the BLACKCAPS in India later this week as he continues to progress his recovery from surgery on his fractured right thumb," a NZC statement read.

But Kyle Jamieson has also been added to the squad as Southee's cover. The lanky pacer was with the side that beat Bangladesh 2-0 in a recently-concluded three-match ODI series but was selected in the 15-member World Cup squad and won't be available for the warm-up games.

"As a contingency, pace-bowler Kyle Jamieson will also join the World Cup squad in India this week to train, following the BLACKCAPS current ODI series in Bangladesh," the statement read.

"Jamieson will not officially be part of the World Cup squad and therefore not available to play in any of the warm-up matches scheduled for Friday against Pakistan and Monday against South Africa." If fit, Southee, who featured in the 2011 ODI World Cup in India, will be playing in his fourth 50-over showpiece.

Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson is also recovering from ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) injury he had suffered during the IPL earlier this year and may not be available for New Zealand's opening game.

The second group of New Zealand players and support staff are set to depart for India from Christchurch on Wednesday, while five members of the Black Caps' who were in the World Cup-bound squad will also link up.

New Zealand will take on Pakistan and South Africa in World Cup warm up matches on September 29 and October 2 respectively before playing the tournament opener against England.

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