Kane Williamson’s reunion with England has been delayed after the New Zealand captain was ruled out of the Twenty20 series with a hip problem.
Williamson, whose side endured the gut-wrenching super‑over defeat against Eoin Morgan’s England team in the summer’s World Cup final, has withdrawn from the five-match T20 series that begins on 1 November in Christchurch.
No return date has been given for the 32-year-old right-hander – supporters will hope he is fit for the two‑match Test series that starts in Mount Maunganui on 21 November – and the seamer Tim Southee will now captain in his absence.
New Zealand, who named a 14-man T20 squad, said a long-term hip problem had resurfaced after Williamson turned out for Northern Districts in the opening round of Plunket Shield fixtures.
“We’ve been monitoring the injury for a while now and it’s the same issue that ruled him out of the final Test against Bangladesh in March,” said Gary Stead, the New Zealand coach. “It’s disappointing timing for Kane at the start of an exciting Kiwi summer but we feel it’s the right decision with a busy season ahead.”
England, resting a host of first-team regulars for the white-ball series as they look to blood fresh talent before next year’s T20 World Cup, are freshly arrived in New Zealand and have named Kent’s Sam Billings as Morgan’s vice-captain.
The tourists begin with two warm‑up games in Lincoln on Sunday and Tuesday. Lockie Ferguson, the 90mph fast bowler who lit up the World Cup with 21 wickets, is part of a greenhorn New Zealand board XI as he returns from a broken thumb.
Ferguson is also down to face England in the series proper before making way for Trent Boult after the first three matches. The series opener at Hagley Oval has been announced as a fundraiser for the victims of the Christchurch terror attacks in March.