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Williamson requested week off: Yorkshire

NZN 11/07/2016

Out-of-form New Zealand captain Kane Williamson requested to sit out this week's first class game for Yorkshire, the English county's coach has confirmed.

Jason Gillespie, the former Australian fast bowler, says there was nothing sinister behind the request as Williamson prepares for nine months of non-stop international cricket with the national team.

Yorkshire director of cricket Martyn Moxon had said "mental fatigue" was behind Williamson's absence from the four-day game in London.

Gillespie says the need for a break was commonplace for many international players.

"We're fully supportive of that. He's confident enough coming to us as a support staff and saying 'lets open this conversation up'," Gillespie told espncricinfo.

"It does highlight that scheduling is an issue. It's been an incredibly busy period for everyone. Everybody gets affected with illnesses, injuries and the like."

Williamson, 25, will farewell Yorkshire with a Twenty20 game on Friday.

He will join the New Zealand team at their training camp in South Africa ahead of a two-Test tour of Zimbabwe which marks the start of a relentless international programme through to late March next year.

Williamson's form has been modest at Yorkshire. He has scored 42 runs from four first class innings and managed only one half-century in 11 innings across all formats.

The world-class batsman has had limited cricket since New Zealand's World Twenty20 semi-final loss to England on March 30.

He had all of April off and played just six games for the Indian Premier League champion Sunrisers Hyderabad in May. Another break preceded his Yorkshire stint starting on June 15.

Gillespie believes Williamson will benefit from this week's break.

"In an ideal world we'd obviously want him to play. But we felt it was in his best interests and everyone's best interests that he had a couple of days away to spend some time with his partner and clear his mind a bit."

Last year Williamson became the sixth batsman to score 10 Test centuries before the age of 25 and picked up 2692 international runs across all formats - the third highest of any player in a calendar year.

He was named Wisden's Leading Cricketer in the World in 2015.

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