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Williamson to be selected in New Zealand's World Cup squad

Rest of the 15-man squad will be announced on September 11

Kane Williamson geared up to bat in training, Chester-le-Street, August 29, 2023

Kane Williamson is currently continuing his rehab with the New Zealand squad in England  •  Getty Images

Kane Williamson will be included in New Zealand's 15-man ODI World Cup squad, after having reached a point in his recovery - from a ruptured ACL sustained in last season's IPL - that he admitted looked unlikely in the days after the injury.
Williamson is presently with the New Zealand limited-overs squad in England, where he is continuing his rehab. On August 28, New Zealand coach Gary Stead had said that Williamson had two weeks to prove his fitness for the World Cup and he has done enough to make the cut.
However, exactly when Williamson will be able to return to action is still uncertain, and New Zealand's opening game of the World Cup, against England on October 5 in Ahmedabad, may be too soon.
"Through this entire process, I have tried to keep an open mind on when I might be able to return to cricket and not get too focused on one date or match," Williamson told reporters. "Being selected doesn't change that and I know there's still work to do and day by day goals to tick off to get back on the field with the team."
Williamson called it a "special moment" to have reached the World Cup and added that he was batting at close to 100% in the nets, but some work still remained on his change of direction movements.
"The next month is really key," he said. "It's putting in the work, the training, all those sorts of things. It's been quite motivating putting in the work and seeing some of those little rewards and progress that is required in terms of targeting a specific match. Think it's still more about being fit and ready as soon as possible.
"A lot of it comes down to those quite intricate parts of the leg that you haven't considered before experiencing an injury like this."
He admitted he doubted that the World Cup would be a realistic target in the aftermath of suffering the injury while playing for Gujarat Titans, when he leapt up at the boundary to try and catch a ball that was going for six, landed awkwardly on his right leg, and went down immediately clutching his knee.
"Absolutely, when it first happened probably most people assumed that [missing the World Cup] is what could be what would happen," he said. "But I also didn't want that to dictate how my rehab. I didn't want to be in a rush. But at the same time having a bit of a carrot in the back of your mind is probably helpful...when it first happened and I learnt a little bit more about what it meant I sort of thought it probably wouldn't be on the cards. It's really exciting to be sitting here now and looking at the prospect of taking part."
The rest of New Zealand's 15-man squad will be named in Auckland on September 11.
"Kane has applied phenomenal dedication to his rehabilitation and has been supported by a strong group of experts around him," Stead said. "He's left no stone unturned in trying to get back playing cricket at the highest level. We are delighted to be in a place to select him.
"At the same time, he's also kept perspective about his recovery and hasn't wanted to rush or force his way back too early. As we've previously said, it's great he wants to play cricket for New Zealand in the long term.
"As we've said throughout this process we want to give Kane every bit of available time to aid his recovery. The World Cup is not a short tournament and we will continue to monitor his progress over the next month ahead of the first tournament match."