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World Test Championship

Three New Zealanders out of opening tour match after positive Covid tests

New Zealand news

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Three members of the New Zealand touring party have tested positive for Covid-19 on the morning of the squad’s first tour match in England against Sussex in Brighton.

The trio of Henry Nicholls, Blair Tickner and Shane Jurgensen returned the positive tests on Friday morning ahead of the first day’s play in the English southern coastal city and have begun a mandatory five-day isolation period in their respective hotel rooms.

Nicholls was already expected to miss the match after the left-hander picked up a calf strain in a training camp earlier this month. The middle-order batter is in the midst of rehab in an effort to be fit for selection for the first Test, and a five-day isolation period is unlikely to aid his recovery.

Medium-pacer Blair Tickner has yet to represent New Zealand in the longer format of the game, although the 28-year-old has picked up two One Day International caps and made eight T20I appearances for his country.

Bowling coach Jurgensen has been a key part of the Black Caps setup since 2016.

Video cwc19 25 Jun 21
The day New Zealand became the WTC21 Champions

An official statement from New Zealand Cricket has confirmed that the remainder of the squad have all returned negative tests and will continue the four-day match as planned, with further regular testing planned throughout the tour.

A second warm-up match against a select county XI at the County Ground in Chelmsford is scheduled for later this month.

The defending World Test Champions are preparing for a three-Test series against England which begins at Lord’s on 2 June, with matches at Trent Bridge and Headingley to follow.

The Black Caps will remain in Europe after the Test series, with white-ball fixtures in Ireland, Scotland and Netherlands extending the tour through into August.


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