Nicol takes time out for personal reasons

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 02/02/2013

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Rob Nicol requested and was granted leave from the Black Caps for personal reasons.

The 29-year-old was left out of both the Black Caps' Twenty20 and ODI sides named yesterday.

National selection manager Kim Littlejohn would not elaborate.

"Rob has asked for some time away from his duties with the Black Caps and that's been granted," he said.

When asked if it was an on or off the park issue, Littlejohn said he could not comment.

Littlejohn did say: "It doesn't take a rocket scientists to realise Rob struggled for runs in South Africa".

But it is understood that Nicol's leave request is for personal reasons, rather than cricketing ones.

He has a partner and young son. And after spending last winter in Britain playing cricket, then most of his time since tied up with the Black Caps, time with his family would be appealing.

Littlejohn said he was unsure how long Nicol would be unavailable, or if he would be available to go to England, should he be selected.

One source close to Nicol said he was "a game-by-game case" after the current series, while another said it was expected the powerful opener would be available for Canterbury's one-day campaign, which begins on February 26, against Auckland at Hagley Oval.

Meanwhile, Peter Fulton and Ronnie Hira paid the price for the Black Caps' selectors carrying fewer players in the home series against England than they did on tour against South Africa.

Hira retained his place in the T20 side, but missed out on the one-day side, while Fulton was cut from the T20 side.

Canterbury all-rounder Andrew Ellis was included in both, following his recovery from injury.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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