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New Zealand to decide Tim Southee’s World Cup fate after surgery

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New Zealand paceman Tim Southee’s participation in next month’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup will be decided after his surgery for a fractured and dislocated thumb, New Zealand Cricket said Wednesday.

Southee faces an operation on Thursday and his World Cup fate will be decided early next week, but New Zealand coach Gary Stead is hopeful the bowler can recover in time.

“We’ve got our fingers crossed the surgery goes well for Tim,” Stead said.

Tim Southee, New Zealand’s Test captain, will have pins or screws inserted in his thumb, Stead said.

“Providing the procedure is a success, it will be a matter of ensuring Tim can tolerate the pain and manage the actual wound when returning to train and play,” Stead added.

The Black Caps coach hopes Southee plays in their World Cup opener against England in Ahmedabad on October 5.

Tim Southee suffered the injury last Saturday while dropping a catch off England’s Joe Root in the final one-day international of the four-match series.

The New Zealander immediately looked to be in pain and left the field to go for a scan, failing to return.

The 34-year-old has taken 214 wickets in 157 ODIs.

“Tim’s obviously a hugely experienced and important figure in our team. We want to give him every chance to be part of this World Cup campaign,” Stead added.

New Zealand are bidding to reach a third straight final at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.

The last edition’s finalist New Zealand will travel to Bangladesh for a three-match ODI series, scheduled from September 21 to 26.

The Kiwis will be looking to win their first ODI series in Bangladesh in 15 years, having lost all seven matches to the hosts in the previous two series respectively in 2010 and 2013 but they will be without their key players including Tim Southee.

Bangladesh, who are yet to name their ICC Men’s World Cup squad, also rested key players including regular captain Shakib Al Hasan along with all-rounder Mehidy Hasan Miraz, batsman Mushfiqur Rahim, and pace trio Taskin Ahmed, Hasan Mahmud and Shoriful Islam.

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