Kane Williamson steps down as New Zealand captain, opts out of central contract

The Black Caps failed to qualify for Super 8 of T20 World Cup 2024

By Web Desk
June 19, 2024
Former captain of New Zealand cricket team, Kane Williamson, in a press conference - AFP

Kane Williamson has stepped down from the white-ball captaincy role and rejected a central contract for 2024-25 from New Zealand Cricket (NZC) after the team failed to qualify for the Super 8 in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2024.

"Helping push the team forward across the formats is something I'm very passionate about and something I want to keep contributing towards, however, pursuing an overseas opportunity during the New Zealand summer means I'm unable to accept a central contract offer,” said Williamson in a press release issued by NZC.

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

Williamson had stepped down from captaincy of New Zealand’s Test team in 2022 and continued captaining the side in limited-overs cricket.

Although the NZC board does not select players in the team that are not centrally contracted, CEO of New Zealand Cricket, Scott Weenink has stated that they are willing to make an exception for their “greatest ever batter”

"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."

Williamson, who was appointed for the role back in 2016 after Brendon McCullum retired, captained the Kiwis in 40 Tests, 91 ODIs and 75 T20Is. He has led the side in the T20 World Cup (2016, 2021, 2022 and 2024), ODI Cricket World Cup (2019 and 2023) and the 2021 ICC World Test Championship which New Zealand won.

Williamson and Co, however, seemed unlucky in ICC tournaments including the T20 World Cup 2024 where they could not qualify for the Super 8 round of the event as they lost to Afghanistan and West Indies in the group stage games.    


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