Despite his injury, New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson is expected to participate in the ODI World Cup 2023, as the team management is likely to enlist him as a mentor. However, New Zealand head coach Gary Stead remains hopeful that Williamson will be able to participate in the marquee tournament scheduled for October–November in India.
On March 31, 2023, the renowned New Zealand batter incurred a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while fielding in the opening match of the Indian Premier League between the Gujarat Titans and Chennai Super Kings. Kane Williamson returned from India as soon as he was seen hobbling with crutches and had a successful operation. The New Zealand ODI captain is undergoing rehabilitation with his knee still in a splint and will likely miss the 2023 ODI World Cup.
“Look, it’s much too early to tell. He has undergone surgery, which, as far as we are aware, has been successful. Accordingly, he is in the earliest phases of his rehabilitation program, as Stead was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
“At this point, it is obviously not weight-bearing, and he is wearing a brace. Thus, the process consists primarily of reaching milestones along the way. Our current stance on Kane is that it is unlikely that he will be available, but we don’t want to rule out a player of his class and caliber and the qualities he brings to this team if there is still a possibility. The New Zealand head coach confirmed that he would send him to India as a mentor.
With Williamson’s absence from the ODI World Cup, the team will be anxious to find a suitable replacement for the veteran, who finished the 2019 editions as “Player of the Tournament.” Fortunately, Mark Chapman has emerged as the “knight in shining armor” for the New Zealand cricket team, as he was the leading run scorer in the recent five-match T20I series against Pakistan with 290 runs in five innings.
Mark Chapman is one World Cup participant on our minds. Gregg Stead
Since his debut in the format in 2018, the 28-year-old has only played five ODIs for New Zealand. However, the right-handed batter is an excellent spin player, making him a strong World Cup contender. Stead believes that Chapman could potentially qualify for the ODI World Cup based on his recent heroics against Pakistan.