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

Watch the second test between England and New Zealand live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10am on Friday: Jack Leach came through fit after a concussion as the hosts’ name did not change as the XI for the game in Trent Bridge; Ben Stokes ‘fine’ to play role with bat and ball after physical scare

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 underwent 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 group have tested negative.

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

“It’s a shame that Kane is forced to retire on the eve of such an important game,” New Zealand coach Gary Stead said.

“We all feel for him right now and we know how disappointed he will be.

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

Williamson’s absence will be a huge blow to New Zealand, whose top four (Will Young, Latham, Williamson and Devon Conway) failed to make it past 15 in any innings during the first loss of the Test at Lord’s.

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

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

Left arm spinner Leach retired six overs in the first test at Lord’s after suffering a heavy fall at the limit. His mandatory seven-day rest period ended on Thursday and he was fully involved in England’s training session.

Stokes, who appeared to adjust 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 the bat and the ball.

“Everything good this morning,” Stokes said when asked about his fitness Thursday. “Just a little stiff.”

He added that it was more of a precautionary measure than anything else, saying sky sports: “It’s probably just being more sensible about training and things like that.

“Because obviously once you go 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 return to the XI as an “easy” decision, once he proved his fitness.

“It was quite unfortunate what happened to Leachy last week at Lord’s, but he has recovered well this week and it was quite easy once we got the good news that 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.

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