T20 World Cup final: Williamson lauds Conway's enthusiasm despite freak injury

New Zealand wicketkeeper unavailable for title clash with Australia in Dubai due to broken hand after he punched his bat

Devon Conway has won praise from his New Zealand captain Kane Williamson for his response to the “freak” injury which will keep him out of the T20 World Cup final.

The Black Caps wicketkeeper has been ruled out of Sunday’s match against Australia at the Dubai International Stadium with a broken hand.

He suffered the injury after punching his bat in disappointment after he was out in the ultimately successful run-chase against England in the semi-final.

Despite being incapacitated by that, as well as the dejection of missing out on the showpiece fixture, Conway has been assisting his replacement, Tim Seifert, in the lead up to the game.

“Losing Devon Conway is a big one,” Williamson said on the eve of the final.

“He has been a big part of all formats for us. It was disappointing and a real freak thing to happen. For us, it is about keeping our focus on the task.

“All the players are really excited about the opportunity, and have the chance to go out and try to improve, and adjust to what will be new as well, which is a different opposition at a different venue.”

Seifert started the tournament as the team’s wicketkeeper, but was replaced by Conway after struggling to influence the Super 12 fixture against Pakistan – which remains New Zealand’s sole loss so far.

Williamson reckons Conway’s response to the setback is indicative of a strong personality, and also signals the togetherness there is within the New Zealand side.

“[Conway and Seifert] are both great guys and they both keep, so they were helping each other out, which was great,” Williamson said.

“What happened to Devon was a real shame. He still wants to give as much as he can to the team.

“He has been at training doing his bit, which is great to see. It is an important part of our environment.

“He is certainly right behind Tim, and Tim is really excited at getting involved.

“Every team is a little bit different. They have people with all different personalities, and that is the beauty of what we do, but those two are working really well together.”

Updated: November 13th 2021, 3:31 PM