Watch the second Test between England and New Zealand live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10am on Friday. Ben Stokes ‘fine’ to play racquet and ball role after fitness scare
Last updated: 06/10/22 06:05
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has been ruled out of the second test against England at Trent Bridge after testing positive for Covid-19 the night before the game.
Williamson underwent a rapid antigen test (RAT) on Thursday after mild symptoms and will now begin five days of isolation, New Zealand said in a statement.
The rest of the tour group have returned negative tests.
Hamish Rutherford will join the squad on Friday morning to replace Williamson, while Tom Latham steps in as captain.
“It’s such a shame for Kane to retire on the eve of such an important game,” said New Zealand coach Gary Stead.
“We all feel for him at this point and know how disappointed he will be.
“Hamish used to be on the Tour on the Test team and played for the Leicestershire Foxes in the Vitality T20 Blast.”
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June 10, 2022 at 10:00 am
Williamson’s absence will be a blow to New Zealand, whose top four – Will Young, Latham, Williamson and Devon Conway – failed in both innings of 15 in the first Test loss at Lord’s.
Mid-order hitter Henry Nicholls could return for the Black Caps after missing 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 with a heel injury he was holding on the third day at mr.
Before returning a positive Covid-19 test, New Williamson said his side wanted to improve their individual performances at Trent Bridge
England unchanged | Leach passed fit, Stokes ‘fine’ for bowling
England named an unchanged XI for the second Test, with Jack Leach passing fit after suffering concussion and Stokes stating he was “okay” to bowl.
Left-arm spinner Leach was pulled six overs into the first Test at Lord’s after suffering a bad crash at the limit. His mandatory seven-day rest period ended on Thursday and he participated fully in English training.
Stokes, who appeared to be fine-tuning his side in practice at bowling on Wednesday, has also guaranteed his fitness for the Trent Bridge Test and confirmed he will play a role with both stick and ball.
“All good this morning,” Stokes said when asked about his fitness on Thursday. “Just a little stiff.”
He added it was more of a precaution than anything Sky Sports: “Probably it’s just more sensible to deal with the training and things like that.
“Because once you’re out there and cross that line, obviously you want to do whatever it takes to win a game for England.”
Regarding Leach, Stokes described his recall to the XI as an “easy” decision after proving his fitness.
“It was pretty unfortunate what happened to Leachy at Lord’s last week but he did well this week and it was pretty easy when 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 on Friday from 10am live on Sky Sports Cricket.