The ICC World Cup 2023 will kick off at the Narendra Modi Stadium today and the opening match will be played between England and New Zealand. The match will see many key players not playing due to injury or other issues. Two key players of the New Zealand team, Skipper Kane Williamson have been ruled out due to fitness issues while Tim Southee who suffered from a fractured thumb has also been ruled out from playing in the opening encounter with England.
Williamson and Tim Southee Recovering From Injuries
In an earlier release, the New Zealand team management said that Williamson would only be playing as a batsman in the warm-up match with Pakistan. Wicket Keeper Tom Latham will be taking the place of Williamson as the Kiwi skipper. In the earlier warm-up match, the Kiwi wicketkeeper batter had scored 54 off 50 balls in the match, which the Kiwis won by 5 wickets with 38 balls left.
Coach Gary Stead had said earlier that the team was taking Kane’s fitness seriously and had adopted a long-term strategy and his recovery is on track and going on well. The team hoped that Kane would be able to shoulder his responsibilities and would cope well with the vagaries of the pressure on international cricket. The team management is taking a step-by-step approach and Kane’s recovery is not being hastened and no pressure is being put to push Kane until he is fully recovered.
The stand-in Kiwi skipper also talked about Southee’s recovery and said that it is two weeks since he underwent surgery for his fractured thumb and the Kiwi player is recovering satisfactorily. However, it is a bit early to say when the Kiwi players will recover and it is a bit of a day-by-day process.
Kiwis must be remembering the 2019 World Cup trophy which was literally snatched from under their chins by a heroic knock of 84 runs not out by Stoke combined with a masterful 15 runs in the Super Over. It was a breathtaking match that was played at Lord’s and will remain etched in the memory of every cricketing fan. England will be defending their title and the task for the Kiwis will be made even more difficult due to the absence of their dependable skipper Kane Williamson and Tim Southee.
England, who are the defending champions, are the 3rd most experienced team in ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 and have played 1,132 ODIs. India with 1,458 matches is the most experienced. England will be facing New Zealand as opponents in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 opener. The Kiwis are the 5th most experienced team and have played 995 ODIs.