McCullum confirms Williamson won't play

New Zealand

Batsman Kane Williamson has been ruled out of New Zealand's first Test against the West Indies, which will get underway at the University Oval in Dunedin on Tuesday.

Batsman Kane Williamson has been ruled out of New Zealand's first Test against the West Indies, which will get underway at the University Oval in Dunedin on Tuesday.

Williamson was included in the squad for the three-match series despite concerns over a thumb injury sustained during the recent limited-overs series against Bangladesh, which excluded him from the subsequent tour of Sri Lanka.

National selector Bruce Edgar suggested last week the right-handed Williamson would play. A late decision, however, has seen the 23-year-old omitted as a precautionary measure ahead of a lengthy season.

"It was pretty close, it was a tough decision, but in the end it was just a touch too early for Kane," said captain Brendon McCullum.

"He batted on Sunday in the nets and didn't feel a great deal of discomfort , but with then doing some fielding then going back into the nets it stiffened up. He probably could have played, but in the grand scheme of the season we have in front of us and how valuable he is to us we saw it as a safer option by allowing him to miss this one and give him another week to recover."

The 34-year-old Aaron Redmond, meanwhile, will replace Williamson. Redmond has not played Test cricket since December 2008 – but a fine stretch of form at domestic level has brought an international recall.

"Aaron has been in such good form and knows these conditions well. We thought he'd be the better option in this Test rather than force Kane back," added McCullum.

"It's a nice story. I thought he did a pretty good job for us when he last played and was probably a bit unlucky to have been axed back then. He had a tough year a few years ago when he was captain of Otago and his response since then has been brilliant. It's another one for the older guys in first-class cricket, showing that the door is never shut."

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