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England vs New Zealand: Kane Williamson tests Covid-19 positive, ruled out of 2nd Test in Trent Bridge

New Zealand suffered a huge blow on the eve of the 2nd Test against England in Nottingham as their captain Kane Williamson was ruled out of the crunch encounter after testing positive for Covid-19. Williamson began a 5-day isolation period while the rest of the team have tested negative, coach Gary Stead said.

Kane Williamson will be replaced by Tom Latham as captain of New Zealand for the 2nd Test. Experienced opener Hamish Rutherford, who is in England playing in a domestic T20 tournament, has been added to the squad.

“It’s such a shame for Kane to be forced to withdraw on the eve of such an important match,” Stead said.

“We’re all feeling for him at this time and know how disappointed he will be.”

Williamson took the Rapid Antigen Test after experiencing minor symptoms on Thursday while the rest of the squad returned negative results in the RAT tests.

Notably, before the warm-up match in Brighton in May, three members of the New Zealand squad, including Henry NIcholls, Blair Ticker and bowling coach Shane Jurgensen, had tested positive for Covid-19 and completed a 5-day isolation period.

The loss of Williamson will come as a big setback to New Zealand’s chances of bouncing back in the 3-match Test series. The visitors, reigning world Test champions, lost the opening match at Lord’s earlier this week after Joe Root hit a sensational fourth-inning hundred to help England chase down a target of 277.

Williamson struggled to get going in the Test series opener, managing just 17 runs across 2 innings. Notably, the skipper was returning to play Test cricket after an elbow injury issue that kept him out on the sidelines for long.

Notably, New Zealand will also miss Colin de Grandhomme as the all-rounder has been ruled out of the series due to a foot injury he picked during the first Test. Mitchell Bracewell had replaced him in the squad.

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