Williamson back to lead Kiwis in England

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New Zealand captain Kane Williamson will return to Test action in England next month having recovered from an elbow injury.

A quartet of uncapped players also feature in a 20-strong touring squad.

Williamson has not featured for the Kiwis since November and missed the drawn home series against Bangladesh and South Africa as a consequence.

But he is now playing in the Indian Premier League and will lead the world Test champions against Ben Stokes' England for a three-match series that starts at Lord's on June 2.

Seamers Jacob Duffy and Blair Tickner, all-rounder Michael Bracewell and wicketkeeper Cam Fletcher have been included as part of an enlarged squad. This will be whittled down to 15 players before the series - Williamson is one of several players who may arrive late due to IPL commitments.

"The red-ball tour of England first up is clearly high on our priority list and we're looking forward to hitting the ground running over there in a couple of weeks' time," New Zealand head coach Gary Stead said.

"Touring England is always a special occasion with the people, the grounds and the history all making for a wonderful experience.

"The English are always tough in their own conditions and have many talented players they can call on."

New Zealand will be without the retired duo of Ross Taylor and BJ Watling but have the other 13 players who beat India at the Ageas Bowl in the final of last year's World Test Championship.

Shortly before that momentous victory, New Zealand claimed their first Test success in England in 22 years after prevailing 1-0 in a two-match series 11 months ago.

"There's a reason we've only ever won a couple of Test series over there and we know we'll have to be at our very best to do it again," Stead added.

New Zealand's squad: K Williamson (captain), T Blundell (wicketkeeper), T Boult, M Bracewell, D Conway, C de Grandhomme, J Duffy, C Fletcher, M Henry, K Jamieson, T Latham, D Mitchell, H Nicholls, A Patel, R Ravindra, H Rutherford, T Southee, B Tickner, N Wagner, W Young.

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