McCullum misses pink ball training due to trial

New Zealand

New Zealand are preparing for the first-ever day-night Test by training with a pink ball under lights in Hamilton for two nights, but captain Brendon McCullum is not there as he is in London for a criminal trial.

McCullum is a key witness is the perjury case against former Black Caps player Chris Cairns, who is accused of lying to the court during a 2012 libel case against IPL founder Lalit Modi.

While the trial is set to last four weeks, McCullum is unlikely to be required for all that time, and is expected to be able to get some training in with the pink ball. The match will be played in late November.

New Zealand opener Tom Latham says the players are perfectly capable of preparing without McCullum, and that there are many other senior players who can lead the squad, including batsman Kane Williamson, who was captain on their recent tour to Africa.

Latham told Fairfax NZ: "We've got plenty of leaders in the group, there's plenty of senior players so we'll go about our business as if we would if he was there.

"We're certainly looking forward to getting together next week (in Hamilton), and getting a bit of pink ball training and then we can go from there.

"Kane has captained us a little bit in the past, and there's plenty of other senior players.

"You know it's certainly about doing what we've been doing and there are a lot of senior guys, but I think everyone plays a key role in that part as well, and we'll be going about our business the same sort of way."

As for the actual match and the pink ball, Latham said he was looking forward to being part of history being made: "I've had one hit against it, and we're up in Hamilton next week pink ball training, but I've been trying to focus on the other two Tests as well.

"It'll be interesting. I'm certainly looking forward to creating a bit of history. I think if we put any pressure on ourselves then you know things might not go so well.

"But if we keep doing the same things as we've been doing over the last 12 to 18 months then hopefully those results do come as well."

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