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Kane Williamson rejects New Zealand Cricket contract, will step down from Black Caps captaincy

Kane Williamson rejects New Zealand Cricket contract, will step down from Black Caps captaincy

Williamson's legacy as one of New Zealand's greatest batsmen remains secure, having played over 350 international matches across all formats.

New Zealand cricket legend Kane Williamson has made a significant call regarding his international future. Williamson, 33, will prioritize test matches and overseas T20 franchise leagues, taking a step back from white-ball cricket with the Black Caps.

This decision comes alongside Williamson declining a central contract offered by New Zealand Cricket (NZC). Central contracts require players to be available for both the national team and the domestic Super Smash competition.

Focus on Tests: Kane Williamson

Kane Williamson emphasized that this doesn’t signal a decline in his passion for international cricket. He remains open to potentially accepting a central contract in the future.

However, his current focus lies on spending more time with family and exploring opportunities in overseas T20 leagues during the New Zealand summer.

Playing for New Zealand is something I treasure, and my desire to give back to the team remains undiminished,” Williamson said. “However, pursuing an overseas opportunity during the New Zealand summer means I’m unable to accept a central contract offer.”

NZC approves temporary shift

NZC chief executive, Scott Weenink, acknowledged Williamson’s contribution to the sport and endorsed his decision. Weenink sees this as an opportunity to retain Williamson’s experience in the test format while allowing him some flexibility.

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

Future in T20Is unclear for Kane Williamson

While Williamson relinquishes the white-ball captaincy, his future in T20 internationals remains uncertain. He remained non-committal when asked about participating in the 2026 World Cup.

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Changing era for New Zealand Cricket

Kane Williamson’s decision coincides with a period of transition for New Zealand cricket. Pace bowler Trent Boult recently announced his retirement from T20 internationals, and Tim Southee took over the test captaincy from Williamson in late 2022.

Williamson’s legacy as one of New Zealand’s greatest batsmen remains secure, having played over 350 international matches across all formats. While his white-ball captaincy tenure comes to an end, his presence in test cricket and his potential return to the national fold are not entirely ruled out.

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