New Zealand’s veteran fast bowler Tim Southee revealed on Tuesday the extent of his recent thumb injury, sharing that surgeons had inserted screws and a plate to aid his recovery to boost his chances of participating in the upcoming World Cup in India.
The 34-year-old, who dislocated his thumb in a recent one-day international against England, expressed his determination to be part of his country’s World Cup squad despite the challenging circumstances in the lead-up to the tournament.
“I have never faced an injury of this nature before, and especially with a major tournament on the horizon, time is of the essence,” Southee said upon arriving in Ahmedabad, the venue for New Zealand’s tournament opener against defending champions England on Thursday.
Reflecting on his recovery process, he mentioned, “The solution involved inserting screws and a plate into my thumb, and now it’s a matter of hoping for the best and dealing with some tenderness and numbness around the area.”
Southee, an integral part of New Zealand’s bowling lineup, has a rich history in World Cup competitions. He was a key figure when the tournament was last held in India in 2011, helping New Zealand reach the semi-finals, a feat unmatched by any team outside the subcontinent.
In the 2015 edition, Southee’s exceptional performance, where he claimed 7-33 against England, played a pivotal role in steering the Kiwis to the final.
Looking ahead to the 2023 World Cup, Southee’s ODI career boasts an impressive record of 214 wickets. Pending medical clearance, he is expected to partner with fellow experienced seamer Trent Boult, who stands just three wickets away from the 200-wicket milestone.
The upcoming tournament is likely to be a significant one for Southee, Boult, and the 33-year-old captain Kane Williamson, possibly marking their final 50-over World Cup appearance together.
Reflecting on his camaraderie with Boult and Williamson, Southee said, “They are not just teammates; they are close friends, and we’ve shared the cricketing journey from our early days to now, representing New Zealand at the highest level.”
He added, “Witnessing their growth into exceptional players has been a privilege, and they undeniably stand as two of New Zealand’s cricketing greats.”