New Zealand captain Kane Williamson looks set to miss the One-Day International World Cup in India later this year after rupturing a knee ligament, it was announced on Thursday.
The star batter needs surgery after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while fielding for Gujarat Titans in the Indian Premier League, New Zealand Cricket said.
Black Caps coach Gary Stead said it was “unlikely” the 32-year-old would be ready to play in the ODI World Cup, which starts in October.
Williamson’s absence would be a major blow for the Black Caps, who have never won the World Cup but finished runners-up in the past two tournaments.
“Naturally it’s disappointing to get such an injury, but my focus now is on having the surgery and starting rehab,” Williamson said in a statement.
“It’s going to take some time but I’ll be doing everything I can to get back on the field as soon as possible.”
Williamson jarred his knee attempting a catch in the opening game of the IPL last Friday, hobbling off the field with the help of two physios.
The New Zealander is one of cricket’s premier batters.
He played a crucial role as they clawed their way into the final of the 2019 World Cup, where Williamson was judged player of the tournament.
New Zealand fell agonisingly short – losing to England on a boundary countback in a nail-biting Super Over after a draw in the final.
Williamson stood down as New Zealand’s Test captain in December but is still the skipper of the ODI and Twenty20 squads.