Monday December 04, 2023

Injured Tim Southee eyes World Cup return after surgical fix

New Zealand's seamer Tim Southee suffered dislocated thumb during ODI against England just under three weeks ago

By Web Desk
October 04, 2023
Injured Tim Southee eyes World Cup return after surgical fix. AFP/File
Injured Tim Southee eyes World Cup return after surgical fix. AFP/File

New Zealand's seasoned fast bowler, Tim Southee, opened up about his thumb injury on Tuesday, revealing that doctors had to resort to unconventional measures to boost his chances of making it to his country's World Cup squad. 

Southee, a veteran seamer, suffered a dislocated thumb during a one-day international against England just under three weeks ago. 

Despite the setback, the determined 34-year-old expressed his unwavering commitment to joining the squad in India for his fourth World Cup appearance, despite facing what he described as a "crazy couple of weeks."

Speaking about his injury and the decision to undergo surgery, Southee disclosed, "I have never had an injury like this before, and when it happens so close to a world event, there is limited time." 

He made this statement upon his arrival in Ahmedabad, where New Zealand is set to face defending champions England in the tournament opener on Thursday. 

Southee explained, "We had to work out the recovery time, and the route back was to insert some screws and a plate in it and hope for the best." 

He also added, "It's still a bit tender where there's a bit of scarring and numbness around where the plate is."

Southee's World Cup history includes making it to the semi-finals when the tournament was last held in India in 2011, where New Zealand was the only non-subcontinent team to reach that stage. 

In the following edition in 2015, he played a crucial role in helping the Kiwis reach the final, highlighted by his career-best 7-33 performance in a group stage victory over England in Wellington. However, Southee's 2019 World Cup campaign in England was cut short due to a calf injury, causing him to fall down the selection order and miss the dramatic final against the hosts at Lord's.

As he enters the 2023 tournament, Southee boasts an impressive record of 214 ODI career wickets. If declared fit, he is expected to resume his new-ball partnership with fellow experienced seamer Trent Boult, who is just three wickets away from reaching the 200-wicket milestone in the format. 

Southee and Boult, along with 33-year-old skipper Kane Williamson, are likely to participate in their final 50-over World Cup together. 

Southee spoke highly of his teammates, saying, "They are two very good mates and guys I've played a lot of cricket with, not only for New Zealand but going back through age-group cricket, domestically for Northern Districts as well." 

He concluded, "I think they are two of our greatest players to have played the game. It's been special to play alongside those guys and see them grow from kids into two New Zealand greats."