New Zealand head coach Gary Stead opened up about Kane Williamson’s knee injury during the first match of IPL 2023 against Chennai Super Kings in Ahmedabad on Friday. Stead revealed he was yet to receive more information about the accident, but admitted it was a big blow for the Kiwis ahead of the World Cup year.
On his debut for Gujarat Titans, the 32-year-old jumped to the edge of square leg to catch a ball bowled by Ruturaj Gaikwad. Although Williamson plucked it, he threw it back onto the field, knowing it was going over the fence and landed awkwardly on his right leg. He appeared to be in a lot of pain and had to be carried off the field after receiving some treatment. The right-hander did not bat during Gujarat’s run.
Speaking ahead of the first T20I against Sri Lanka on Sunday, Stead said he would know more about the state of his injury in the next few days and felt it was not a good sign. As quoted by Stuff.co.nz, he said:
“Our first thoughts are obviously with him, we’re not sure at this stage the severity of the injury. He’s being assessed in the next 24-48 hours, so we’ll know more after that. All we know at this stage is that it’s his right knee. Unfortunately, now you I can’t give much more than that until we get more information. It’s not nice to see anybody, let alone your captain of your white ball, injured. It’s a big blow for him, and it’s a big blow for us.”
Despite the absence of Kiwi batters, the Titans cruised to a five-wicket win with four balls to spare. Shubman Gill top-scored for the Gujarat team with 63, while Rahul Tewatia and Rashid Khan steered their side from a tricky spot to a comfortable win in pursuit of 179.
Kane Williamson is likely to miss the ODI series in Pakistan
Despite being fully fit, the right-handed batsman is likely to skip the white-ball tour of Pakistan this month due to his IPL commitments. He played a key role in their ODI series win over Pakistan in January, as New Zealand bounced back from a 0-1 deficit in three games.
The selectors have already announced the T20I squad for the five-match series in Pakistan, which will be led by Tom Latham. The likes of Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Mitchell Santner and Glenn Phillips will also not be touring Pakistan to feature in the IPL.