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Xtra Time Web Desk: Sunday’s New Zealand Test squad left for London from Singapore for a tour of England and the ICC WTC Final against India that will follow. The first group of the test team left Auckland on Saturday. The New Zealand unit will be subject to a strict 10-day quarantine upon its arrival in London. Players in Group A included Tom Latham, Colin de Grandhome, Rashin Ravindra and Neil Wagner alongside coach Gary Steed. The BlackCaps have uploaded some pictures to their official Twitter account.
Three players – Ken Williamson, Kyle Jamison, and Mitchell Santner are currently in the Maldives as they were then on their way to stopping the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 indefinitely. Soon they will travel to London from the Maldives. Baser Trent Bolt will join the team in the UK before the first Test. It is very likely that all four cricketers associated with IPL will miss the first test in Lords.
Earlier this week, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) announced that Wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling would be retiring from international cricket after the England tour. The 35-year-old has been a staunch supporter on the testing side since his debut in 2009 as an opening hitter, and has gone on to prove himself as a world-class tennis goalkeeper and has set numerous records in 73 tests to date.
Watling holds a New Zealand Test refusal record with 249 catches (excluding 10 players) and eight trunk cuts – the best number of any current Test Rangers. Watling’s batting stats are also remarkable: with eight centuries testing for his name and New Zealand records for the fourth and fifth partnership: 362 with Brendon McCollum against India in Basin Reserve in 2014, and 365 * with current captain Kane Williamson against Sri Lanka on the same ground a year later.
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