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Kane Williamson to stay on bench for Netherlands match

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New Zealand captain Kane Williamson will remain out of the side for their second match in ICC World Cup 2023 against the Netherlands on October 9.

New Zealand head coach Gary Stead confirmed his absence from the game against Netherlands while giving an update about his recovery and status for future games.

“Kane’s also been progressing very well. I think the fielding is still the element for him that he’s just got to get a little bit higher and get a little more trust in his body,” said Stead.

He, however, hinted that Williamson is likely to achieve full fitness in time for New Zealand’s third game, which is against Bangladesh on October 13 in Chennai.

“But he is progressing really well and we are pretty confident he will be playing the third match for us,” he added. “We have got another training to get through today so we will finalise the team once we have got through that training.”

Kane Williamson 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, he made it to New Zealand’s squad for the ICC World Cup 2023 and participated in New Zealand’s warm-up games against Pakistan and South Africa, scoring 54 and 37 respectively.

He missed New Zealand’s thumping nine-wicket win over defending champions England in the opening game of the ICC World Cup 2023, courtesy of Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra’s dominant centuries.

New Zealand pace duo Tim Southee and Lockie Ferguson also missed the first game due to injuries, however, Gary Stead is hopeful that the pace duo is likely to recover for the game against Netherlands.

“Lockie Ferguson got through training really well so providing he is scrubbed up okay this morning, he will be available for this next game,” Stead said. “Tim Southee also got through the training really well. It was great to see him back at the bowling crease and also doing a little bit of fielding as well.”

“He will just get a final x-ray done this morning and we will make a call after that but it is all looking good for selection from now on and into the rest of the tournament,” he concluded.

READ: China top Asian Games 2023 with record 201 golds

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