Blackcaps v Pakistan: NZ captain Kane Williamson officially ruled out of Twenty20 series

Blackcaps captain Kane Williamson has been officially ruled out of the remaining three matches of the Twenty20 series against Pakistan, after a scan confirmed he has a grade one hamstring strain.   

Coach Gary Stead had said the white-ball skipper would likely miss the rest of the series, after he retired hurt during New Zealand's 21-run win at Hamilton's Seddon Park.   

Williamson's injury means Will Young will now stay on with the squad for the fourth and fifth matches of the series at Christchurch, after joining the squad for tomorrow's third match at Dunedin.   

Kane Williamson in action against Pakistan.
Kane Williamson in action against Pakistan. Photo credit: Getty Images

"A timeline for Williamson's rehabilitation and return to cricket is still being established with a goal of being ready for selection in the test series against South Africa starting next month," said NZ Cricket.   

Blackcaps batting coach Luke Ronchi fully expects players like Young to step up in Williamson's absence.   

"At the moment, unfortunately, it's been something that's happening a bit, so we are used to that," he said. "We're quite lucky in the fact that the guys who have come in are in good touch and good form domestically, when they've had the opportunity to come in for the international stuff."   

Williamson's next challenge will be attempting to regain fitness for two upcoming South African test matches, the first of which begins in just 19 days.   

"He'll hopefully be alright for those," Ronchi continued.  

Williamson's exit comes as veteran fast-bowler Lockie Ferguson makes his international return.

The speedster has played a handful of games for Auckland Aces during the Super Smash domestic season, but the third T20 match against Pakistan would be his first for the Blackcaps since suffering an Achilles injury at the recent ODI Cricket World Cup in India.   

Lockie Ferguson bowls during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup India 2023
Lockie Ferguson bowls during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup India 2023 Photo credit: Getty Images

"Just had that download period from the Achilles, which was needed, but certainly feeling good so far and, touch wood, it stays that way," says Ferguson.   

"Another challenge for us tomorrow to try and seal the series, but also making steps towards a big World Cup this year."    

Join Newshub at 1pm Wednesday for live updates of the third Blackcaps v Pakistan T20.