Kane Williamson quits as New Zealand captain, declines central contract after T20 World Cup debacle | Crickit
close_game
close_game

Kane Williamson quits as New Zealand captain, declines central contract after T20 World Cup debacle

Jun 19, 2024 07:00 AM IST

Kane Williamson's decision comes in the aftermath of New Zealand's group-stage exit from the T20 World Cup after losing to Afghanistan and the West Indies.

A day after expressing uncertainty over his T20I future, Kane Williamson quit as New Zealand's white-ball captain and opted out of the central contract for the 2024-25 season. This, however, does not mean an end to Williamson's glorious international career, asserted both the batter and New Zealand Cricket.

New Zealand's captain Kane Williamson bats against Afghanistan during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match(PTI)
New Zealand's captain Kane Williamson bats against Afghanistan during an ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match(PTI)

Williamson, in fact, will be available for all three formats, but as he hinted in the post-match press conference of New Zealand's last T20 World Cup game, the focus will be on the World Test Championship.

Williamson's decision comes in the aftermath of New Zealand's shocking group-stage exit from the T20 World Cup after losing to Afghanistan and the West Indies.

New Zealand Cricket said Williamson remains committed to representing the Black Caps at the international stage. The 33-year-old took advantage of a particular set of circumstances this summer in which very little international cricket is being played in New Zealand during the January window.

Outside that month, he will be available for the eight World Test Championship matches before Christmas and attend the ICC Champions Trophy tournament in Pakistan in February-March.

His T20I future, however, remains doubtful.

'I treasure playing for New Zealand': Williamson

Williamson said his decision should not be interpreted as a sign he was losing interest in international cricket; on the contrary, he remained open to potentially accepting a central contract offer in the future.

Representing New Zealand was still a priority.

“Helping push the team forward across the formats is something I’m very passionate about and something I want to keep contributing towards,” he said

“However, pursuing an overseas opportunity during the New Zealand summer means I’m unable to accept a central contract offer.”

He was pleased to find a way to balance a hectic playing schedule with his ongoing passion to play for his country.

“Playing for New Zealand is something I treasure, and my desire to give back to the team remains undiminished.

“My life outside cricket has changed however - spending more time with my family and enjoying experiences with them at home or abroad is something that’s even more important to me.”

NZC CEO Scott Weenink said Williamson was a great New Zealand player who had earned the right to take some time off to pursue other goals, including family-oriented priorities.

“This is a good way to help keep Kane in the international game so that he continues to play a major role for the BLACKCAPS – both now and in the years to come,” said Mr Weenink.

“We have very little international cricket in New Zealand through January and outside that period he’s still available for the BLACKCAPS.

“NZC has a strong preference to select centrally contracted players. However, we’re happy to make an exception for our greatest ever batter – especially as he remains so committed to the team.

“I know it sounds a bit counterintuitive, but I’m very encouraged by this development.”

Pace bowler Lockie Ferguson has also indicated he won’t accept a central contract offer when the contracting process opens.

An announcement covering the final list of contract offers is likely next month.

Catch every big hit, every wicket with Crickit, a one stop destination for Live Scores, Match Stats, Infographics & much more. Explore now!

See more

Stay connected for all the latest cricket news, match schedules and ICC rankings. Keep in touch with everything exciting surrounding the India vs Sri Lanka series, including live scores and schedules. Stay updated and never miss a moment of action with Hindustan Times.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, July 19, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On