Tim Southee likely to miss 2023 World Cup opener against England

New Zealand's hopes were further dashed as their regular captain, Kane Williamson, continues his recovery from a knee injury, leaving the team without two key players for the crucial opener

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Tim Southee
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Tim Southee. (Photo Source: Twitter)

In a disappointing setback for New Zealand, veteran seamer Tim Southee is likely to miss the 2023 World Cup opener against England, scheduled for October 5th at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Southee's absence comes as a result of a thumb injury he sustained during the 4th ODI against England at Lord's, which necessitated surgery. Although Southee has arrived in India with the team, his full fitness remains in question.

New Zealand's hopes were further dashed as their regular captain, Kane Williamson, continues his recovery from a knee injury, leaving the team without two key players for the crucial opener.

Gary Stead, the head coach of the New Zealand side, expressed cautious optimism about Southee's availability for the next game, stating, 

"Tim arrived with the team a few days ago now. He had a very light bowl yesterday down at the ground. He's still just working through the wound on his thumb but things are looking good. I'm hoping in the next match that he'll be available for selection," as quoted by Sportskeeda.

Tim Southee, the fourth-highest wicket-taker for New Zealand in World Cups, boasts an impressive record of 34 wickets in 18 matches at an average of 25.11. Upon his arrival in Ahmedabad, Southee acknowledged the ongoing challenges posed by his thumb injury, stating, 

"It's still a bit tender where obviously there's a bit of scarring and a bit of numbness around where the plate is. So I guess it's just [about] getting used to that. And getting back into some bowling. Haven't done a lot of bowling over the last couple of weeks, so it's about getting your loads back up as well as managing the thumb. A bit of a race against time to get here, but managed to get here and it's a great place to come. It's an awesome place to come and play cricket, let alone being a World Cup."

New Zealand, the finalists in the last two editions of the World Cup, face a challenging start to their campaign without two of their star players. As everyone awaits Southee's recovery update, Kiwi fans hold their breath, hoping for his swift return to the lineup.

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