New Zealand will be without injured pace bowler Kyle Jamieson for the third and final Test against England, adding to their gloom after conceding the series in Nottingham on Tuesday. Soon after losing the second Test at Trent Bridge by five wickets, handing England an unassailable 2-0 lead, Black Caps management confirmed Jamieson will return home after a scan revealed a stress reaction in his lower back, suffered while bowling on the third day. Coach Gary Stead estimated Jamieson will require four to six weeks of rest before beginning a rehabilitation programme, which will target a return to play in September or October.
Pace bowler Blair Tickner, who was with the squad for their early tour games, has been recalled and will arrive in Leeds prior to the third Test starting on Thursday next week.
Tickner is untried at Test level but has played 10 limited-overs internationals.
New Zealand have been forced into another, less significant, change after Cam Fletcher was ruled out of the tour, having suffered a hamstring injury while acting as a reserve fielder for Jamieson on day four at Trent Bridge.
He will be replaced by Dane Cleaver who, like Fletcher, is uncapped in any format for New Zealand.
The departure of Jamieson is a major blow to the tourists’ hopes of salvaging series pride at Headingley, with the towering seamer having burst onto the scene last year and taken 72 wickets in his first 16 Tests.
He bowled sharply in the first Test loss at Lord’s, lodging match figures of six wickets for 99 runs.
His presence was keenly missed on the final day at Trent Bridge, as England powered to 299 for five, with Jonny Bairstow (136) and captain Ben Stokes (75 not out) unleashing aggressive knocks against a flagging New Zealand attack.
“Kyle had played such a big role in the first Test at Lord’s and I know how disappointed he was to have had his involvement in the second Test curtailed,” Stead said.
“He’s obviously a huge asset for us and we’ll be making sure we are patient with his recovery to ensure he returns fully fit with plenty more important cricket still to come later this year.”
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