New Zealand’s cricket team has been dealt a major blow as star batsman and Gujarat Titans’ player, Kane Williamson, is likely to miss the upcoming ODI World Cup due to a severe knee injury. The 32-year-old cricketer suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee during the Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign opener against the Chennai Super Kings at the Narendra Modi Stadium on March 31st, 2023.
Williamson sustained the injury while attempting a catch at the boundary, which he managed to save by palming the ball back into the field of play. However, he landed awkwardly, causing his right knee to buckle under his weight, and was left in visible pain on the ground.
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The Gujarat Titans announced Dasun Shanaka as Williamson’s replacement following the incident. Williamson returned to New Zealand, where the severity of the injury was confirmed. He is scheduled to undergo surgery within the next three weeks, once the swelling around his knee has subsided.
New Zealand coach Gary Stead acknowledged the significant impact of Williamson’s absence on the team, given his impressive ODI record of 47.83 average across 161 matches, including 13 centuries. The loss of their key player will undoubtedly be a considerable setback for the team’s World Cup aspirations.
Williamson’s injury serves as a reminder of the physical risks associated with high-level cricket and the potential consequences for both players and teams. As New Zealand prepares for the ODI World Cup without their star batsman, the cricket world eagerly awaits updates on Williamson’s recovery and eventual return to the sport.
New Zealand has already qualified for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 schedule that is set to begin in October in India.