New Zealand's veteran seamer, Tim Southee, has been given the all-clear to represent his nation at the upcoming 50-over World Cup in India.
The announcement comes as Southee continues to make steady progress in his recovery from a thumb injury that threatened to sideline him.
The 34-year-old, who also serves as New Zealand's Test captain, had undergone surgery last week after fracturing and dislocating his right thumb during an intense one-day international against England on September 15.
The injury had cast doubt on his participation in the prestigious tournament, which is scheduled to begin on October 5 with New Zealand locking horns with reigning champions, England.
The New Zealand Cricket board (NZC) confirmed Southee's return to action with a statement on Tuesday, saying, "Tim Southee's been cleared to join the Black Caps in India later this week as he continues to progress his recovery from surgery on his fractured right thumb."
The statement also revealed Southee's target to be available for the crucial opening game of the tournament against England.
In an interesting twist, pace bowler Kyle Jamieson will also accompany the squad to India, albeit as a contingency. While not an official part of the World Cup squad, Jamieson will be training with the team, ensuring New Zealand has a suitable backup option. However, he won't be available for the warm-up matches against Pakistan and South Africa.
The positive news follows New Zealand's impressive performance in Bangladesh, where they secured a series victory with a second-string team. The Kiwis triumphed 2-0 in the three-match series, showcasing their depth and resilience in the absence of key players.
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