Tim Southee will captain the BLACKCAPS in the GJ Gardner Homes T20 series against England after Kane Williamson was withdrawn from the squad with a right hip injury.
The decision was made following the opening round of the Plunket Shield on Thursday, where Williamson turned out for Northern Districts against Canterbury at Hagley Oval.
BLACKCAPS coach Gary Stead spoke with Williamson after the match and they agreed a period of rest was the best way forward.
“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 back in March,” said Stead.
“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.
“We’re fortunate to have someone experienced like Tim who can comfortably step in and take the reins, as he successfully did on the recent tour of Sri Lanka.”
Having been named in the New Zealand XI side to face England in two T20 warm-ups starting on Sunday, fast-bowler Lockie Ferguson has also been included for the first three games of the series as he returns from a broken thumb.
Ferguson will make a way in the final two games for left-armer Trent Boult who is set to play the second round of Plunket Shield four-day cricket next week.
“In working with Trent and looking at the season ahead, we feel another four-day game will provide him with the best preparation for the upcoming Test series against England and Australia,” added Stead.
BLACKCAPS T20 squad
Tim Southee (c)
Trent Boult (Games 4 and 5)
Colin de Grandhomme
Lockie Ferguson (Games 1-3)
Tim Seifert (wk)
Central Stags pace-bowler Blair Tickner’s been included in a BLACKCAPS full-squad for the first time, after making his debut in the T20 series decider against India earlier this year.
In commenting on the rest of the squad, Stead noted the power and versatility across the line-up.
“If you look at the batsmen there’s plenty of good ball strikers and that explosive hitting is a crucial component in the shortest format.
“Tim will have a variety of bowling options including our spin combination of Ish and Mitch who are both ranked inside the top ten T20 bowlers in the world.
“We obviously have a lot of T20 cricket on the horizon ahead of next year’s World Cup and a tough five-game series against England should be a great start to the summer.”
The BLACKCAPS and England open the series at Hagley Oval on November 1, a match that is doubling as a fundraiser for the victims of the Christchurch terror attacks in March.