Three members of the Black Caps tour party – including frontline batsman Henry Nicholls – tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of their first warm-up cricket match in England on Friday.
New Zealand Cricket confirmed Nicholls, bowler Blair Tickner and bowling coach Shane Jurgensen were in isolation as they prepared for day one of their four-day warm-up match against Sussex at Hove. The first day was rained off and play was abandoned.
The trio began five days of hotel room isolation after producing positive Rapid Antigen Tests on Friday evening (NZT).
The remainder of the tour party returned negative tests and will continue to be monitored and tested as required.
NZC said the four-day match would go ahead as planned.
Nicholls – New Zealand’s regular test No 5 – was already a doubtful starter for the first test at Lord’s starting on June 2, due to a calf strain.
New Zealand, who are without frontliners like Kane Williamson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Devon Conway due to Indian Premier League commitments, are also scheduled to play a First-Class Counties Selection XI starting next Thursday at Chelmsford.
Williamson, who has returned from India to New Zealand for the birth of his second child, is expected to arrive in time for that match, their final leadup to the first test.
The Black Caps named an extended 20-strong squad for the England tour, which will be trimmed down to 15 before the first of three tests.
New Zealand squad for England tour: Kane Williamson (c), Will Young, Tom Latham, Hamish Rutherford, Devon Conway, Henry Nicholls, Daryl Mitchell, Michael Bracewell, Tom Blundell, Colin de Grandhomme, Rachin Ravindra, Cam Fletcher, Kyle Jamieson, Matt Henry, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Ajaz Patel, Blair Tickner, Jacob Duffy, Trent Boult.
– With stuff.co.nz input