Wellington: New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee will not play in the first Test against the West Indies from Friday because of the impending birth of his second child.
Coach Mike Hesson confirmed on Wednesday that the 57-Test veteran will miss the first match of the two-test series, saying "family is the priority."
Hesson said Southee is staying at home "and we're very supportive of that. (The baby) is due any day now."
Southee's withdrawal leaves Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry in competition for the vacancy in the New Zealand attack.
Hesson said that the choice is between Ferguson's extra pace and Henry's ability to move the ball off the seam.
Wicketkeeper Tom Blundell will make his debut for New Zealand in place of BJ Watling, who has a hip injury.