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NZ players vaccinated before England tour

New Zealand players, barring IPL and County-playing players, have received the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

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The home-based Kiwi cricketers were given jabs on ‘national significance’ which allows sportspersons to get them on priority basis, that includes the Tokyo Olympics-bound athletes as well.

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New Zealand pacer Neil Wagner was the last of the UK-bound cricketers to take the shot.

“We’re really grateful for everything the government has done to this point, firstly in helping us host a safe and successful home summer of international cricket, and now assisting us to access the vaccines in time to tour,” Wagner said.

From the current Test squad for England tour, Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Mitchell Santner (all playing IPL) and Will Young (playing for Durham in County Championship) have not received their first shot.

The three-Test England tour will be New Zealand’s first away series since March 2020. They will face hosts for two Tests at Lord’s and Edgbaston before facing India in the World Test Championship final in Southampton.

Wagner trained alongside all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme in Mount Maunganui.

“It’s got little bit different characteristics to what a Kookaburra does so just trying to get used to it and adapting to the different things we’ll come across in England. [It’s about] not getting too far ahead of yourself with a Duke ball that tends to swing around a little bit and try too hard,” Wagner said.

“Having played there in the past, and a number of us now, it’s good that we have a wealth of experience and knowledge in our group to draw back on. [But] every time you go back there’s new things to learn, so to be able to put that into place for what is arguably the most important time of our careers we are really excited about.”

New Zealand was one of the first countries to allow fans enter the stadiums since the pandemic began. The men’s team hosted West Indies, Pakistan, Australia and Bangladesh. The women’s side played England and Australia.

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