New Zealand hope Kane Williamson ready for Sri Lanka despite bereavement | Cricket News

THE CHURCH OF CHRIST: New Zealand expect record breaker Kane Williamson to be “ready to go” when their Test series begins against Sri Lanka on Thursday, despite arriving late due to bereavement.
Williamson stayed home in preparation to attend a memorial service Wednesday for her grandmother.
Ahead of the opening test in Christchurch, captain Tim Southee said the black caps were “thinking about Kane right now”.
Southee said that while Williamson hadn’t been part of the squad preparations he had been training with his national team “so I’m sure he’ll hit a lot of balls and make sure he’s ready to go on Thursday”.
Williamson, 32, is key to New Zealand’s chances in the two-Test series.
He overtook Ross Taylor to become their all-time leading scorer in last month’s second Test against England, when the hosts won by a single point in Wellington to draw the series.
Williamson’s grandmother recently made headlines in New Zealand when she phoned a radio show to slam a caller who complained the cricketer’s undemonstrative style sometimes made him appear ‘uninterested’ .
“We’re not a yahoo family,” she said.
Speaking on the eve of the first Test, Sweden said his players had moved on from England’s extraordinary triumph.
“It’s a game that will be talked about for a long time, but it’s a very humble group, now our attention will be on Sri Lanka,” he said.
The Sri Lankan visitors have a lot to play for — they must sweep the series to keep their hopes of making the World Trials Championship final.
New Zealand are defending champions but out of contention for the current competition.
Sri Lanka must win both Tests and will be hoping India will lose their upcoming fourth Test to Australia to advance to the final.
“I don’t want to put pressure on the boys, but everyone knows it’s a must win,” Sri Lanka captain said Dimuth Karunaratne.
“We are in the top three right now so we have a hurdle and everyone knows where we are now.”
Sri Lanka have won just two of 19 Tests in New Zealand, most recently in 2006.


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