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New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson faces another setback, flies back home amid hamstring injury

Gary Stead, the head coach, confirmed that the hamstring injury is on the same leg as the previously injured knee

Kane Williamson

In a cruel twist of fate, Kane Williamson’s return to the T20I arena has been marred by yet another setback. The New Zealand captain, who missed a significant part of the previous year due to injuries, was forced to walk off the field during the second T20I against Pakistan after sustaining a hamstring injury.

Williamson’s return was highly anticipated, as he led the Kiwis in the five-match T20I series against Pakistan. However, his comeback was cut short when he retired hurt after scoring a brisk 26 runs off 15 balls. The injury, which occurred to the same leg as his previously injured knee, has raised concerns about his fitness ahead of a crucial upcoming series.

Tim Southee assumed leadership duties in Williamson’s absence, and the captain has flown back to Tauranga for a thorough examination of his hamstring. The selectors had already rested Williamson for the third T20I to manage his knee injury, but the recurrence of the hamstring issue puts his participation in the remaining T20Is in doubt.

“He’s gone home,” says head coach Gary Stead

Gary Stead, the head coach of the New Zealand team, confirmed that the hamstring injury is on the same leg as the previously injured knee. While awaiting the scan results, Stead expressed scepticism about Kane Williamson’s availability for the remaining T20Is and hinted that the upcoming Test series against South Africa and Australia might take precedence.

“It’s the same leg as what his knee injury was on. 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 updates at this stage,” said Stead. He added that Will Young, who was already set to join the team, might stay on as a replacement for Williamson.

With the Test matches looming on the horizon, Stead emphasised the importance of prioritising Williamson’s fitness in the short term. Tim Seifert is likely to be the chosen replacement for the injured skipper. Meanwhile, New Zealand holds a 2-0 lead in the five-match T20I series against Pakistan, with the third match scheduled for January 17.

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