Wellington: Regular New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson has been ruled out of the upcoming five-match T20I series against England following a hip injury. Right-arm pacer Tim Southee will lead the side in Williamson's absence.
The decision to rest Williamson was taken after he represented Northern Districts against Canterbury at the Hagley Oval in the opening round of the Plunket Shield.
"We've been monitoring the injury for a while now and it's the same issue that ruled him out of the final Test against Bangladesh back in March," said Black Caps coach Gary Stead.
"It's disappointing timing for Kane at the start of an exciting Kiwi summer, but we feel it's the right decision with a busy season ahead.
Southee had earlier led New Zealand to a T20I series win in Sri Lanka in September.
"We're fortunate to have someone experienced like Tim who can comfortably step in and take the reins, as he successfully did on the recent tour of Sri Lanka," said Stead.
Having been named in the New Zealand XI side to face England in two T20 warm-ups starting on Sunday, fast-bowler Lockie Ferguson has also been included in the first three games of the series as he returns from a broken thumb.
Ferguson will make way in the final two games for left-armer Trent Boult, who is set to play a second round of Plunket Shield four-day cricket next week.
The first match of the series will be played in Christchurch on November 1. The two teams will then play two Tests after the conclusion of the T20I series.
New Zealand T20I squad: Tim Southee (c), Trent Boult (for the final two matches), Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson (for the first three matches), Martin Guptill, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor, Blair Tickner.