Kane Williamson Ruled Out of Match Against South Africa

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New Zealand’s hopes for the World Cup clash against South Africa on November 1, 2023, were centered on the potential return of their captain, Kane Williamson. Williamson had made a comeback to the World Cup after recovering from a ruptured ACL sustained during this year’s IPL, but his return was short-lived as he retired hurt during his first professional game in over six months, after a blow to his thumb. But he is ruled out of the World Cup as he is yet to recover from the injury. The management was hopeful that he would be fit for the clash against South Africa but to no avail.

In the game against Bangladesh, while batting on 77, Williamson attempted a tight single against Bangladesh, narrowly escaping a potential run-out. However, the ball hit his left thumb, leading to scans revealing a fracture that ruled him out for New Zealand’s next three matches. The management was optimistic that Williamson might recover in the latter half of the tournament.

Tom Latham, the stand-in captain for New Zealand, provided an update on Williamson’s fitness a day before the South Africa clash, expressing his hope that Williamson would be “ready to go” for the game.

New Zealand is currently grappling with multiple injury concerns in the World Cup. Tim Southee underwent surgery for a fractured right thumb before the tournament and is now available for selection but hasn’t featured in the competition yet. Quick bowler Lockie Ferguson had to leave the field with a right Achilles injury during the game against Australia, and Mark Chapman is dealing with a calf injury.

Latham was hopeful for Williamson’s return

Latham mentioned, “We’ve got a few guys to get through a few fitness tests, and once we train, we’ll have a clearer idea of what the XI looks like – so fingers crossed all those guys can get through a bit of work today at training and be ready to go tomorrow.”

New Zealand is currently third on the points table with eight points from six games but is coming off two consecutive defeats. In contrast, South Africa has ten points, having won five out of six matches. This upcoming clash holds significant importance for both teams in their quest for World Cup success.

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