Kane Williamson unlikely for the final T20I matches against Pakistan
Kane Williamson is unlikely to feature in the final three matches of New Zealand’s ongoing T20I series against Pakistan after retiring hurt with a hamstring injury during his side’s 21-run victory in Hamilton on Sunday.
Williamson has flown home to Tauranga and was due to undergo a scan on Monday. He was always due to miss the third match of the series in Dunedin on Wednesday, but is a major doubt for the final two games. New Zealand lead the series 2-0 and are prioritising their upcoming two-Test series over South Africa, which starts on February 3.
He retired hurt on 26 off 15 balls on Sunday, after feeling tightness in his right hamstring. “It’s the same leg as what his knee injury was on,” Gary Stead, New Zealand’s coach, said on Monday morning, referring to the ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) that sidelined Williamson for six months last year. “He’s gone home to Tauranga. He’ll get a scan today.
“Until I know more about the scan, then I haven’t got any further update at this stage. Will Young was going to join the team anyway for this [part of the] series. Kane wasn’t going to join. I think it’s likely that Will will stay on, but until we get the scan results from Kane, then we can’t make a further decision.”
Asked if Williamson would feature in the final two T20Is, Stead said: “I think it’s unlikely he will play. I mean with the Test matches so close as well and probably in the big scheme of things in the short term for us has higher priority then I think it’s likely we’ll try and make sure that he’s right for that.”
Tim Seifert, who is yet to feature in this series, is likely to replace Williamson in the side and will “probably” take the gloves from Devon Conway, Stead said. “It’ll be another test without having Kane there, who I think always provides that stableness to your batting. That’ll be an opportunity for, likely, Tim Seifert to come in and show what he can still do, and fill in those shoes that Kane’s probably left for the rest of the series.”
Stead also confirmed that Trent Boult, who has not played a T20I since the semi-final of the 2022 World Cup, remains part of New Zealand’s plans for the 2024 edition in the Caribbean and the United States. Boult does not hold a central contract and is due to play in the upcoming ILT20 for MI Emirates, who are an affiliate of Mumbai Indians.
New Zealand are due to play three T20Is against Australia from February 21-25, immediately after the ILT20, and Stead said that Boult’s availability is unclear. “We’ve tried to catch up a couple of times but haven’t managed to do so. That’ll be something we work out later. I’m not sure what his commitments are right at that time yet, so I still have to work that out.”