New Zealand‘s plans of levelling the ongoing three-match Test series against England have been disturbed, with captain Kane Williamson getting ruled out of the second Test after contracting Covid-19 in Nottingham.

Williamson tested positive on the eve of the second Test, which is set to begin at Trent Bridge on Friday. He took a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) after experiencing slight symptoms on Thursday and will now commence five days of isolation.

In his absence, Tom Latham will lead the Black Caps, while Hamish Rutherford has been brought into the squad as Williamson’s replacement. Notably, Rutherford is currently playing Vitality T20 Blast 2022 for Leicestershire Foxes.

“It’s such a shame for Kane to be forced to withdraw on the eve of such an important match. We’re all feeling for him at this time and know how disappointed he will be,” said New Zealand head coach Gary Stead as quoted by Stuff.

“Hamish was with the Test squad earlier in the tour and has been playing for the Leicestershire Foxes in the T20 Vitality Blast,” he added.

Williamson scored 2 and 15 in the first Test at Lord’s, as the hosts went 1-0 up in the series with a five-wicket victory, thanks to former skipper Joe Root‘s magnificent batting exhibition.

Meanwhile, the rest of New Zealand’s group have returned negative RATs and will continue following the tour health protocols of symptom reporting and subsequent testing if required. Not to mention, the visitors had already suffered an injury blow when all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme was ruled out of the rest of the series after sustaining a foot injury on day three of the opening Test.

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