File image of Tim Southee© AFP
New Zealand pace ace Tim Southee will be given every chance to prove his fitness ahead of the World Cup in India next month, head coach Gary Stead has said. Southee broke a bone in his right thumb while attempting to take a catch in the fourth ODI against England last week. Stead said a call on the the 34-year-old will be taken after the seamer consults specialists at home. “Until then, we can’t make a call around the World Cup. We’ll just need to understand the time frames and what that looks like and once we have that information, we will then be able to move forward and make a decision.”
“We’ll want to give Tim every chance of proving his fitness. There will be an element of the unknown being that it’s a bone fracture, and at some stage he will have to start catching balls and bowling again.
“The healing process in the next 10 to 12 days will be pretty important for him as well,” Stead told reporters.
The Black Cap, who went down 1-3 in the ODIs against England, have flown to Bangladesh for a three-match ODI series, starting Thursday.
They will take on Pakistan and South Africa in the World Cup warm up matches on September 29 and October 2 respectively before playing the tournament opener against England on October 5.
Southee, who featured the last time the tournament was held in India in 2011, will be playing in his fourth ODI World Cup.
Teams can make changes to the 15-player World Cup squad until September 28, post which any changes would need approval from the ICC.
New Zealand had lost to England on boundary count in the 2019 World Cup final at Lord’s, after the teams could not be separated by a tie-breaking Super Over.
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