Kane Williamson: New Zealand captain out of second Test against England with Covid | Cricket News

Kane Williamson: New Zealand captain out of second Test against England with Covid | Cricket News

Watch second Test between England and New Zealand live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10am, Friday – Jack Leach passed fit after concussion as hosts name unchanged XI for game at Trent Bridge; Ben Stokes “fine” to play role with bat and ball after fitness scare

Last Updated: 09/06/22 11:48pm

Kane Williamson is out of the second Test against England

Kane Williamson is out of the second Test against England

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson is out of the second Test against England at Trent Bridge after testing positive for Covid-19 the night before the match.

Williamson undertook a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) after experiencing minor symptoms on Thursday and will now begin five days of isolation, New Zealand said in a statement.

The rest of the touring party have returned negative tests.

Hamish Rutherford will join the squad on Friday morning as Williamson’s replacement, with Tom Latham stepping in as captain.

“It’s such a shame for Kane to be forced to withdraw on the eve of such an important match,” New Zealand coach Gary Stead said.

“We’re all feeling for him at this time and know how disappointed he will be.

“Hamish was with the Test squad earlier in the tour and has been playing for the Leicestershire Foxes in the Vitality T20 Blast.”

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Williamson’s absence will be a big blow to New Zealand, whose top four – Will Young, Latham, Williamson and Devon Conway – each failed to pass 15 in either innings during the first Test defeat at Lord’s.

Middle-order batter Henry Nicholls could return for the Black Caps after he missed the first Test due to Covid-19, but seam-bowling all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme has already been ruled out of the rest of the series due to a heel injury he sustained on the third day at Lord’s.

Speaking before he returned a positive Covid-19 test, New Williamson said his side are looking to improve on their individual performances at Trent Bridge

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Speaking before he returned a positive Covid-19 test, New Williamson said his side are looking to improve on their individual performances at Trent Bridge

Speaking before he returned a positive Covid-19 test, New Williamson said his side are looking to improve on their individual performances at Trent Bridge

England unchanged | Leach passed fit, Stokes ‘fine’ to bowl

England named an unchanged XI for the second Test, with Jack Leach passed fit after concussion and Stokes declaring he’s “fine” to bowl.

Left-arm spinner Leach was withdrawn six overs into the first Test at Lord’s after taking a heavy fall on the boundary. His mandatory seven-day rest period ended on Thursday and he took a full part in England’s training session.

Stokes, who appeared to tweak his side while bowling in practice on Wednesday, has also guaranteed his fitness for the Trent Bridge Test, confirming he will play a role with both bat and ball.

“All good this morning,” Stokes said when asked about his fitness on Thursday. “Just a bit stiff.”

He added it was more a precautionary measure than anything, telling Sky Sports: “It’s probably just being more sensible around training and stuff like that.

“Because, obviously, once you get out there and cross that line, you want to do everything you can to help win a game for England.”

As for Leach, Stokes described his recall to the XI as a “straightforward” decision, once he had proven his fitness.

“It was pretty unfortunate what happened to Leachy last week at Lord’s, but he has pulled up well this week and it was pretty straightforward once we got the good news he was fit to play,” he said.

Watch the second LV= Insurance Test between England and New Zealand, at Trent Bridge, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10am on Friday.