The 31-year old took a rapid antigen test after experiencing minor symptoms on the eve of the match and will remain in isolation for five days. The rest of the teammates have tested negative and will play the second Test.
New Zealand head coach Gary Stead informed about the development on Thursday, saying Hamish Rutherford will replace Williamson in the squad. Tom Latham will be leading the reigning World Test Champions in the Nottingham Test.
“It’s such a shame for Kane to be forced to withdraw on the eve of such an important match,” Stead said.
“We’re all feeling for him at this time and know how disappointed he will be.”
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) tweeted, “Coach Gary Stead confirms captain Kane Williamson will miss the second Test against England in Nottingham on Friday, after testing positive for Covid-19 the night before the match. Hamish Rutherford will replace him in the squad #ENGvNZ.”
New Zealand had lost the opening Test at the Home of Cricket Lord’s by five wickets with former England skipper Joe Root scoring a brilliant unbeaten century, while Williamson returned below-par scores in both innings.
Tom Latham & Co will be fighting to keep the series alive in Nottingham this week and skipper Williamson’s absence will be a massive setback for them.