ENG vs NZ 2022: Three members of New Zealand’s Touring Squad, fast bowler Blair Tickner, batter Henry Nicholls, and bowling coach Shane Jurgensen have returned with positive results in Brighton just hours before their warm-up fixture against Sussex. All three members have begun their five days of hotel room isolation after returning with positive Rapid Antigen Tests on Friday morning.
A media release from NZC confirmed that all the other members of the New Zealand touring squad had tested negative for COVID-19 & their four-day warm-up match against Sussex between May 20 & 23 would go ahead as scheduled.
The southpaw middle-order player, Nicholls has been an integral part of New Zealand’s Test team after scoring eight centuries in 46 matches at an average of 40.38. However, even if he wouldn’t have tested positive for COVID-19 he was slated to miss the warm-up match in any case after sustaining a grade one calf strain while running drills during a pre-touring camp in Mount Maunganui earlier this month.
Though scans revealed he hadn’t suffered a tear, Nicholls will miss both the warm-up matches in order to return fit on time for New Zealand’s first Test against England at Lord’s on June 2. On the other hand, Tickner is yet to play a Test but has appeared in two ODIs and eight T20Is, most recently featuring in the ODI series at home against the Netherlands.
Meanwhile the former Queensland pacer, Jurgensen has worked as New Zealand’s bowling coach since 2016 & will continue in his role till the end of his contract in 2022. This is Jurgensen’s second stint as New Zealand’s bowling coach having previously worked with the New Zealand team in the same role between 2008 & 2010.
After their first warm-up match against Sussex, New Zealand will play one more warm-up game against FCC XI on May 26. New Zealand’s three-match Test series against England will begin on June 2 with the second Test to be played in Nottingham on June 10. The third & final Test of the series will be held at Headingley from June 23.