The New Zealand cricket team suffered a massive blow after their captain Kane Williamson was ruled out of the second and final Test against England at Edgbaston with an elbow injury.

Left-handed opening batsman Tom Latham will lead the Kiwis in the absence of the New Zealand captain. 

Head coach Gary Stead stated that the tough decision to keep Williamson out was taken keeping in mind the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) final against India starting on June 18.

"It's not an easy decision for Kane to have to miss a Test, but we think it's the right one," New Zealand coach Gary Stead said in a statement on Wednesday.

"He's had an injection in his elbow to relieve the irritation he's been experiencing when he bats and a period of rest and rehabilitation will help maximise his recovery."

"The decision has been made very much with the ICC World Test Championship final at Southampton in mind and we are confident he will be ready for that match starting on June 18,” Stead added.

Meanwhile, Will Young will replace Kane Williamson at number three in the batting line-up at Edgbaston starting on June 10. Young has been in great form after he scored two centuries for English county side Durham.

The Blackcaps will also miss the services of their spinner Mitchell Santner who has been ruled out with a cut finger. New Zealand will be forced to make at least two changes to the team that played in the first Test.

However, left-arm fast bowler Trent Boult is expected to return to the playing XI after missing the Lord's Test as he chose to spend time with his family following the suspension of the Indian T20 League.

Featured photo: DAVID GRAY / AFP