New Zealand captain Kane Williamson wins fitness race and makes squad
KANE Williamson has been included in New Zealand’s squad for the Cricket World Cup in India after winning the race to prove his fitness.
The 33-year-old has not played since rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in March.
Williamson’s inclusion means there is no place for Finn Allen.
Trent Boult, 34, who was last year released from a central contract, headlines the fast-bowling attack but Kyle Jamieson and Adam Milne miss out.
Test captain Tim Southee, 34, joins Boult in the bowling ranks and is due to play in a fourth 50-over World Cup, as is Williamson.
Both were involved when India last hosted the tournament in 2011.
New Zealand open their campaign against defending champions England on 5 October in Ahmedabad, having been runners-up at the last two World Cups in 2019 and 2015.
“We haven’t put a date on whether he will be available for that first game or not,” New Zealand coach Gary Stead said of Williamson, who is set to captain the side.
“That’s still three or four weeks away and time will tell a little bit closer, but he is doing everything in his powers to make that happen.”
The Kiwis lost to hosts England in the 2019 final in dramatic fashion.
Both teams scored 241 in their 50 overs and were level on 15 in the super over.
All-rounder Jimmy Neesham scored 13 in the super over but Martin Guptill was run out on the last delivery as he attempted the winning run, with England crowned champions based on the amount of boundaries scored.
“I think it’s motivated all of us,” said Neesham.
“Trent has talked about it as well, around a few of the guys back then talking about giving it one more crack in four years’ time.
“We’ve got that generation from 30 to 35-years-old. We’ve all played a huge amount over the last 10-12 years and there’s certainly huge motivation from the guys to give it one last good crack.”
The families of the New Zealand players helped to announce the World Cup squad in a social media video.(BBC Sport)