Kane Williamson will be picked in New Zealand's World Cup squad despite knee injury

New Zealand batter Kane Williamson
Williamson averages 47.83 in ODIs for New Zealand

Kane Williamson will be included in New Zealand's squad for the 50-over World Cup next month despite his knee injury.

The Black Caps' one-day international and T20 captain, 33, has not played since tearing cruciate ligaments at the Indian Premier League in April.

New Zealand say he has made "sufficient progress" to be picked but there is no guarantee he will be fit for the first game against England on 5 October.

"We are delighted to be in a place to select him," coach Gary Stead said.

"He's left no stone unturned in trying to get back playing cricket at the highest level.

"The World Cup is not a short tournament and we will continue to monitor his progress over the next month ahead of the first tournament match."

When Williamson suffered the injury, New Zealand said "standard rehabilitation timelines" meant he was "unlikely to be fit and available for selection" for the tournament in India.

"Through this entire process I have tried to keep an open mind on when I might be able to return to cricket and not get too focused on one date or match," Williamson said.

"Being selected doesn't change that and I know there's still work to do and day by day goals to tick off to get back on the field with the team."

Williamson has been with the Black Caps on their tour of England but is not in the T20 or 50-over squads. He has been batting in the nets and taking part in fielding drills.

Williamson, New Zealand's captain when they lost the 2019 World Cup final to England at Lord's, is one of his country's greatest batters across all formats and has played 161 ODIs, scoring 6,554 runs at an average of 47.83.

The format of the World Cup - a five-week round-robin stage featuring 10 teams before semi-finals and a final - means he could enter the tournament part-way through.

The rest of New Zealand's squad will be named on Monday, 11 September.

England and New Zealand meet in the fourth T20 at Trent Bridge on Tuesday before four ODIs, with the hosts leading the series 2-1.