Cricket: Mitchell Santner ruled out of Blackcaps' Twenty20 International series opener after positive COVID-19 test

Mitchell Santner.
Mitchell Santner. Photo credit: Getty Images

Mitchell Santner has been ruled out of the series-opening Twenty20 International between the Blackcaps and Pakistan, after testing positive for COVID-19.  

Santner, 31, returned a positive test on Friday morning and has been in isolation away from the rest of the Blackcaps squad. He will return to his Hamilton home to recover.  

The allrounder will miss game one of the five-match series at Eden Park and potentially game two at Seddon Park on Sunday.

Santner is also in line to captain the Blackcaps in game three at Dunedin, where regular skipper Kane Williamson will be rested to manage his knee, after an ACL rupture in April 2023.   

The five-match series is part of New Zealand's final preparations for this year's Twenty20 World Cup in the West Indies and USA in June.  

The Blackcaps will also play Australia in a three-match series next month, before another five-match series away in Pakistan.