The New Zealand cricket team has received a significant boost ahead of the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, with their senior fast bowler, Tim Southee, cleared to travel to India for the tournament. This comes as a huge relief for the Blackcaps, who were anxiously awaiting news on Southee’s recovery from a thumb injury.
Southee had sustained a dislocated and fractured right thumb during New Zealand’s tour of England on September 16, 2023. The injury occurred while he was attempting a catch during the fourth ODI against England at Lord’s. Given the proximity of the World Cup, Southee’s injury posed a major concern for the team.
In response to the injury, Southee underwent surgery on September 20, 2023, back in New Zealand. The procedure involved the insertion of pins or screws into his right thumb. The success of the surgery and Southee’s subsequent pain management and wound care would determine his return to training and playing.
New Zealand’s head coach, Gary Stead, had expressed hope for Southee’s recovery, stating that they were keeping their “fingers crossed” for a successful surgery. Southee’s potential absence from the World Cup squad would have been a significant loss for the team, given his leadership role and extensive experience.
However, as of today, September 26th, 2023, Southee has been medically cleared to rejoin the team in India later this week. This indicates a positive turn in his recovery process and is a major boost for the team, which recently triumphed 2-0 in a series in Bangladesh.
The team, led by Kane Williamson, who is also making a comeback after a long injury layoff, will be heading into the tournament with renewed confidence. As a precautionary measure, pace-bowler Kyle Jamieson will also join the World Cup squad in India this week for training, although he will not officially be part of the World Cup squad and therefore not available to play in any of the warm-up matches. The Kiwis are set to face Pakistan and South Africa in the warm-up games ahead of the World Cup opener against England on October 5.