Ahmedabad, Oct 4 (IANS): Veteran New Zealand pacer Tim Southee admitted that it was a bit of a race against time for him to be in the squad for the Men’s ODI World Cup and is now keeping his fingers crossed on the recovery process from a fractured and dislocated thumb, which needed surgical intervention.
Southee had dislocated and fractured his right thumb while taking a catch during an ODI match against current Cup holders England on September 15. He now has a plate and some screws inserted in the thumb to boost his recovery in a bid to take part in New Zealand’s campaign at some point.
"It's been a crazy couple of weeks. A bit of a race against time to get here, but managed to get here and it's a great place to come. It's an awesome place to come and play cricket, let alone being a World Cup, in time. The excitement and passion they have for the sport is something you don’t experience in rest of the world, leading to big excitement around the group," said Southee in an audio chat with New Zealand Cricket (NZC).
Southee went on to say that he has now started to bowl and is now aiming at increasing the loads of his bowling powers, adding that the thumb is still tender. "It’s (the injury was) something new. Haven't done an injury like this before. I guess when something like that happens so close to a world event, your mind starts to drift towards that.”
"With the limited time we had, I guess sitting down and working out the fastest recovery time, and the route back was to chuck some screws in it and a plate and hope for the best. Everyone I've dealt with and the process has been brilliant to get me to this stage. So fingers crossed we can carry on the recovery process and be right in time."
"It's still a bit tender where obviously there's a bit of scarring and a bit of numbness around where the plate is. So I guess it's just (about) getting used to that and getting back into some bowling. Haven't done a lot of bowling over the last couple of weeks, so it's about getting your loads back up as well as managing the thumb."
In 2011, New Zealand were the only non-Asian team in the semifinals, before ending up as runners-up in 2015 and 2019, with Southee, Kane Williamson and Trent Boult being the common link there. Southee feels it’s been special for him to grow in the game alongside Williamson and Boult.
"Obviously 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. Also, they are two of our greatest players to have played the game. So it's been a special, I guess 10-12...how many (ever) years it's been, to play alongside those guys and see (them) grow from kids into two of New Zealand's greats."