New Zealand vs England – Cyclone Gabrielle prevents New Zealand squad members from reaching Mount Maunganui
New Zealand Cricket confirmed that Tickner and Young were on their way by car from Napier, while Nicholls was due to arrive on Thursday from Christchurch (South Island) after his original flight was cancelled. Blundell is currently with his family in Wellington following the birth of his second child. Henry, meanwhile, is in Christchurch awaiting the birth of his first child and there is uncertainty over when he would be able to join the rest of the squad.
Situated on the eastern entrance to the Tauranga Harbour, Mount Maunganui has not been as badly affected by the cyclone, but inclement weather meant training for both teams took place in the Bay Oval Indoor Grass Training Facility. New Zealand had originally planned for an evening training session but were advised to shift their plans forward with winds expected to worsen.
While there is a forecast for a break in the rain on Wednesday, further disruptions are expected when the day-night Test gets underway on Thursday.
Though international long-haul flights have been given the go-ahead to land in Auckland on Monday, scores of short-haul local flights have been cancelled. Air New Zealand has cancelled all its domestic flights until Tuesday. All regional flights in and out of Tauranga (which services Mount Maunganui), Hamilton and Taupō have also been cancelled for the same period.
The weather has also meant the Pōwhiri (a Māori welcoming ceremony) scheduled for February 14 has been cancelled.