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Monday, November 23, 2020

NZ’s Kane Williamson and Trent Boult to miss West Indies T20s

Kane Williamson has a hip injury and is also in a race to be fit for the two-match test series against the West Indies in December.

By: AP | Wellington | Updated: November 17, 2020 3:29:40 pm
New Zealand's captain Kane Williamson arrives for a practice session. (AP File Photo)

Captain Kane Williamson and leading fast bowler Trent Boult will miss New Zealand’s three-match Twenty20 cricket series against the West Indies this month.

Williamson has a hip injury and is also in a race to be fit for the two-match test series against the West Indies in December.

Boult has just returned from winning the Indian Premier League last week in the United Arab Emirates and will be released from managed isolation only on the day before the first T20 in Auckland.

Coach Gary Stead said New Zealand chose to prioritize Williamson’s and Boult’s availability for the test series rather than hurry them into the T20s.

Prolific South Africa-born batsman Devon Conway and fast bowler Kyle Jamieson, who made a successful start to his test career last season, have been added to New Zealand’s T20 squad for the first time. But Conway has been left out of New Zealand’s 13-man test squad, despite being the leading run-scorer in all three formats in domestic competitions last season.

Conway made his first-class debut for Gauteng in South Africa in 2009, and moved to New Zealand in 2017. He was cleared by the ICC in March to play for New Zealand, becoming available for selection for the first time in August.

Swing bowler Tim Southee will captain New Zealand in the T20 series in Williamson’s absence.

Jamieson and senior batsman Ross Taylor will play only the first two T20s before leaving to join the test squad.

For the first time, the test squad will assemble on the same day as a T20 — Nov. 30, when the third match of the T20 series will be played at Mount Maunganui.

“We’re all very aware and appreciative of how much work has gone in to make this home summer possible in what is clearly unprecedented times,” Stead said. “The season schedule is complex and for the first time we’re going to have a Black Caps test squad assembling on the same day we’re playing a T20 international in another city.

“We’ve got players at quite different stages with some having played almost a month of domestic cricket, some in managed isolation following the IPL, and others battling injuries.”

Stead said New Zealand “had to make a decision on Kane and Trent to prioritize the test matches, given how important they are to our red-ball team and the fact they both played such big roles in the recent IPL while also managing injuries.

“There’s no secret we’re right in the hunt for the world test championship final following our 2-0 win over India, and having Trent and Kane fully fit and focussed for the upcoming series will be crucial.”

Fast bowler Lockie Ferguson, allrounders Jimmy Neesham and Mitchell Santner and batsman Tim Seifert will finish managed isolation on Nov. 26 after returning from the IPL, and will join the T20 squad the next day when the first T20 will be played.

Fitness concerns linger over allrounder Colin de Grandhomme and spin bowler Ajaz Patel who have been named in the test squad. Stead said they would be given every chance to prove their fitness ahead of the first test at Hamilton on Dec. 3.

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