New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson has tested positive for Covid-19 and will miss the second Test against England starting at Trent Bridge later on Friday.
New Zealand head coach Gary Stead gave an update on the charismatic captain of the World Test championship side on the eve of the match, saying Hamish Rutherford will replace him in the squad.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) tweeted, “Coach Gary Stead confirms captain Kane Williamson will miss the second Test against England in Nottingham on Friday, after testing positive for Covid-19 the night before the match. Hamish Rutherford will replace him in the squad #ENGvNZ.”
Williamson undertook a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) after experiencing minor symptoms during the day and will now begin five days of isolation, said NZC.
The rest of the touring party has returned negative RATs and will continue following the tour health protocols of symptom reporting and subsequent testing if required.
“It’s such a shame for Kane to be forced to withdraw on the eve of such an important match,” said Stead in a video posted on the NZC website.
“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 T20 Vitality Blast,” added Stead.
Tom Latham will captain the side in Williamson’s absence.
New Zealand had lost the opening game of the three-Test at Lord’s by five wickets with former England skipper Joe Root scoring a superb unbeaten century, while Williamson returned below-par scores in both innings.