New Zealand vs England: Bowlers Matt Henry and Kyle Jamieson ruled out of first Test in Hamilton

Pace bowlers Kyle Jamieson and Matt Henry have been ruled out of New Zealand’s first Test against England on Thursday.

Jamieson has suffered a suspected stress fracture of the back, the same injury he has spent the past eight months recovering from.

Henry, meanwhile, remains in Christchurch awaiting the birth of his first child and has not travelled to Mount Maunganui.

The Black Caps, who are already without leading seamer Trent Boult due to franchise commitments, have called up uncapped pair Jacob Duffy and Scott Kuggeleijn as replacements.

Jacob Duffy could make his Test debut, having played in the T20 series against India last month

Head coach Gary Stead confirmed Jamieson’s latest setback, which came to light after he took part in last week’s warm-up game against England in Hamilton.

“It’s really gutting for Kyle to have this happen after he’d put so much hard work in to getting himself back on the park,” Stead said. “Since the injury in June we’ve certainly taken a cautious approach to managing his return with regular monitoring by our medical staff which has included scans.

“While Kyle’s not feeling any pain, the evidence is pretty clear he has a stress-fracture and so he’ll return to Christchurch today and have a CT scan on Friday before we decide on the next steps.”

Tom Blundell, who recently welcomed his second child, will link up with the side on Tuesday, with Henry Nicholls also set to arrive after his original flight from Christchurch on Monday cancelled due to Cyclone Gabrielle.

Batter Henry Nicholls is one of the players who hasn't been able to travel
Batter Henry Nicholls is one of the players who hasn’t been able to travel

Duffy (Otago Volts) and Kuggeleijn (Northern Districts) will also arrive in Mount Maunganui on Tuesday afternoon, with Duffy part of the past two Black Caps Test tours to England and the second top wicket-taker at the halfway stage of the Plunket Shield.

Despite heavy wind and rain both teams were able to manage a full net session on grass thanks to the venue’s marquee, but with the cyclone expected to intensify it is not clear whether the same facilities will remain usable.

The opening day-night Test starts on Thursday at 2pm local time (1am GMT). Henry is expected to be available for the second Test in Wellington, which starts on February 24.

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