news

Williamson eyes return for NZ in World Cup warm-up against Pakistan

Tim Southee has also been cleared to join the team at the 50-over World Cup in India

Williamson eyes return for NZ in World Cup warm-up against Pakistan PHOTO: AFP

Less than six months after knee surgery threatened to rule him out of next month's ODI World Cup, the goal of captaining New Zealand in India has been the key driver in getting Kane Williamson through his recovery.

The 33-year-old tore the cruciate ligament in his right knee playing for Indian Premier League side Gujarat Titans in April, which looked to have scuppered his chances of making the showpiece tournament.

However, intense rehab work has meant a speedy recovery.

New Zealand is set to play their first warm-up match against Pakistan on Friday.

"It's [about] working through those warm-up games to get as much out of it as I can - personally and as a team - without sort of bothering too much," Williamson said on Wednesday before Kiwis departure for India.

 "There is a strong desire to basically be involved in those as much as I can; we've got two of them before our first competition game. And basically, it's just wanting to progress [with] what I am doing now - the running, the fielding, and also time in the middle with the bat” he added.

Meanwhile, Tim Southee, has been cleared to join the team at the 50-over World Cup in India as he recovers from thumb surgery, the country's cricket board said Wednesday.

The 34-year-old bowler hopes to be fit for New Zealand's opening game of the tournament against reigning champions England on October 5 in Ahmedabad.

Southee, New Zealand's Test captain, underwent surgery last week after he fractured and dislocated his right thumb in an ODI against England on September 15.

Pace bowler Kyle Jamieson will train with the squad in India as a back-up, after New Zealand on Tuesday wrapped up a one-day series win in Bangladesh.

Jamieson will not officially be part of the World Cup squad and won't play in warm-up matches against Pakistan on Friday and South Africa next Monday.