Cricket: Blackcaps captain Kane Williamson dismisses injury concerns

  • 04/02/2021

Blackcaps captain Kane Williamson has been quick to allay fears over a nagging injury that will rule him out of making another Super Smash appearance on Saturday.

The 30-year-old has an inflammation in a tendon in his right elbow, and the subsequent medical advice has been to stay off the pitch, meaning he won't feature for the Northern Knights.

But Willliamson - currently the world's top-ranked test batsman - says he's simply playing it safe, and he's confident he'll be ready to go when the Australians land for the first of five Twenty20 internationals on February 22.

"It's just precautionary," Williamson says.

"Hoping it's just a week-long thing to settle. It's more of a precaution and have just been advised that the wisest move will be to take that week and hopefully not worry about it."

Williamson has enjoyed another superb season to date, highlighted by a virtuoso career-best 251 in the first test against the West Indies earlier this month. He was also named to the ICC's Team of the Decade.

Williamson admits he allowed himself to savour a moment of satisfaction, when he received a phone call on Wednesday morning confirming his Blackcaps had secured a spot in the inaugural World Test Championship final in June.

The cancellation of Australia's tour to South Africa sealed the deal for New Zealand, and while Williamson admits it was a slightly bittersweet way to qualify, it was still just recognition for what's been a golden summer to date for his side.

"It was very exciting," he says.

"Obviously the circumstances of how it came about are pretty unexpected and not the way you'd like to see it happen.

"But I suppose we were always in with a chance and to have that opportunity cemented… it's really exciting and really chuffed for all the guys.

"It acknowledges all the hard work we've put in this summer."

The pandemic forced a change in the qualification process from points to a percentage-based system, which in turn, widened the scope for teams to sneak in.

The test series sweep against West Indies and then Pakistan then proved to be enough for the Blackcaps.

"I think going into it, obviously COVID changed criteria a little bit, but it meant that a number of teams were in the hunt, Williamson notes.

"Coming into the summer, we just thought if we could win those four tests it'd give us an opportunity to be there at Lord's, or wherever it may be.

"We managed to do that and play some good cricket along the way and it's really exciting to get the nod."