New Zealand v West Indies Tests - Men's
Williamson out of second Test following late dash home
New Zealand's captain ultimately decided to head home to Tauranga for birth of first child having earlier firmed to play in Wellington
10 December 2020, 08:16 PM AEST
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has pulled out of the second Test against the West Indies as he prepares to become a first-time father.
Williamson's 251 powered the Black Caps to a commanding innings victory over the tourists in Hamilton last week.
As Gary Stead's side headed south to Wellington for the second Test, Williamson returned to his home city of Tauranga to be with his pregnant wife Sarah for a midwife's appointment.
On a topsy-turvy day, coach Stead at lunchtime said they needed "a little bit more time for Kane to work out the decision".
"We expect him back this afternoon but … becoming a dad for the first time is pretty important."
Williamson then decided to play and caught a flight to the capital.
After just a couple of hours on the ground, he switched his decision and flew home.
"It's a decision we've come to around the best interests for him, Sarah and our team long term ... we want to make sure the mother and baby are well looked after," Stead said.
The pair are expecting their first child in "mid-to-late December", according to Williamson.
Williamson's departure means Tom Latham will captain the Black Caps, with first-choice gloveman BJ Watling replacing the skipper in the side.
Will Young will bat at No.3.
West Indies captain Jason Holder, needing a huge change of fortunes to be competitive, said he wanted to see improvement with the bat at the Basin Reserve.
The tourists will name "vibrant" 22-year-old Josh De Silva to mark his debut as wicketkeeper.
The injury-hit Windies are winless going into their last match of the tour and were skittled for just 138 and 247 in Hamilton.
"We have to keep going. For personal pride, to level the series and points in the world Test championship," Holder said.
As with every Test at the Basin Reserve, the weather will play a huge part in proceedings.
Persistent rain means neither side will get a good look at the pitch until Friday, when gales of up to 120km/h are forecast.
The howling northerlies will make life exceptionally difficult for bowlers coming from the Government House end.
Fast bowler Holder was not enthusiastic when informed of the impending gales.
"We've just got to find a way … I've been a workhorse for a number of years so you'll probably see me coming into the wind," he said.