Blow for New Zealand as scan reveals Kane Williamson has fractured thumb

Black Caps captain picked up freak injury during World Cup win over Bangladesh

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has only just returned from a serious knee injury. AP
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New Zealand suffered a huge injury blow on Saturday when a scan revealed that captain Kane Williamson has fractured a thumb.

Williamson made his first appearance for seven months against Bangladesh on Friday and had made an assured return and looked on his way to a 14th ODI hundred when disaster struck.

The batter was running an easy single when he was left in agony after being struck on the hand by a throw in from the deep.

Williamson at first stayed on the field after receiving treatment but soon decided could not continue and was forced to retire hurt on 78.

“Not [sure] just yet,” said Williamson of his injury after New Zealand had completed an eight-wicket win in Chennai.

“It got a bit fat and colourful straight away, which made holding the bat difficult. I'll have a scan tomorrow and hopefully it's OK.”

But New Zealand Cricket announced on Saturday morning that an X-ray had revealed an undisplaced fracture to his left thumb.

While a cruel blow, Williamson will remain with the squad and is aiming to be available for the final pool matches next month. Tom Blundell will travel to India as back-up.

The injury soured Williamson's return to cricket after he was sidelined when he damaged his knee playing in the Indian Premier League in March.

He sat out the opening World Cup wins over England and the Netherlands before being deemed ready to play against Bangladesh.

“Firstly, we're all feeling for Kane to have this occur after all his hard work to return from his knee injury,” coach Gary Stead said.

“While it's disappointing, the initial diagnosis has given us some optimism he can still feature later in the pool play following a period of rest and rehabilitation.

“Kane is clearly a massive part of our side and a world-class player and captain – so we'll look to give him every opportunity we can to return in the tournament.”

If Williamson is ruled out until November, he will miss pool games against Afghanistan, India and Australia over the next two weeks.

New Zealand currently sit on top of the 10-nation table after three wins in three games.

Updated: October 14, 2023, 10:39 AM