Massive blow for Black Caps ahead of SA Tests as they lose skipper Williamson

Kane Williamson (Getty Images)

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson will miss the upcoming Test series against South Africa after failing to recover from an elbow injury, Black Caps coach Gary Stead said on Tuesday.

Stead named Tom Latham as stand-in skipper in a 15-man squad that features two debutants in wicketkeeper Cam Fletcher and paceman Blair Tickner.

Batter Hamish Rutherford was also recalled after seven years in the Test wilderness, while all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme returns after shaking off a recent form slump.

Stead said Williamson was “desperate” to participate in the two-Test series against the Proteas but had not recovered sufficiently from an elbow injury that sidelined him late last year.

“The priority has to be trying to get the injury right and having him available long term,” he said.

Seamer Trent Boult will also miss the first Test starting in Christchurch on February 17 as he awaits the birth of his third child.

New Zealand squad:

Tom Latham (captain), Tom Blundell, Devon Conway,
Colin de Grandhomme, Cam Fletcher, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl
Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Rachin Ravindra, Hamish Rutherford, Tim
Southee, Blair Tickner, Neil Wagner, Will Young

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