Wellington: New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson has withdrawn from the second test against West Indies and returned home to be with his pregnant wife, Sarah. Opener Tom Latham will take over the captaincy.
Head coach Gary Stead while talking in a lunchtime media conference said that Williamson would return to the team and be available for the test at the Basin Reserve but later issued a statement saying the skipper had withdrawn.
Williamson’s availability for the test, which starts on Friday, had been up in the air for much of the day when the team said he had returned to Tauranga to attend a medical appointment with his wife, Sarah.
“Kane will return home. It’s a decision we have come to around I guess the best interests for him and Sarah,” Stead said as quoted by Reuters.
“He is not the first person to have a baby and miss a test match and our thoughts are that mother and baby are well looked after and Kane needs to be there to support them in that way,” he added.
Note, Williamson made career-best 251 in the first match at Seddon Park in Hamilton. New Zealand won that Test by an innings and 134 runs.
Wicketkeeper BJ Watling returns to the side and Tom Blundell will move up to open the innings with Latham after he dropped down the order and took the gloves in Hamilton.
Will Young will replace Williamson while Devon Conway, who was brought in as batting cover, has been released to play for New Zealand ‘A’ in Nelson.