Williamson Mum on Future as Boult Retires


New Zealand captain Kane Williamson remained non-committal about his future in Twenty20 internationals following his team’s early exit from the T20 World Cup held in the Caribbean and the United States. Despite finishing their campaign with a consolation win, the Kiwis failed to advance to the Super Eight stage, with West Indies and Afghanistan progressing from Group C.

Trent Boult, Williamson’s teammate, confirmed this tournament was his final T20 World Cup. However, Williamson, at 33, was evasive when questioned about his plans for the 2026 World Cup set to take place in India and Sri Lanka. “I don’t know,” Williamson said when asked if he would participate in the next T20 World Cup. “There’s a bit of time between now and then, so it’s about regrouping as a side. We’ve got red-ball cricket over the next year basically, so it’s back into some other international formats, and we’ll see where things land.”

Williamson expressed frustration over New Zealand’s early exit, a sharp contrast to their usual strong performances in global tournaments. The team started their campaign with losses to Afghanistan and West Indies. Despite subsequent victories over Uganda and Papua New Guinea, these wins came too late to influence their progression. “We wanted to start the campaign strong, and we weren’t able to do that,” Williamson admitted.

Meanwhile, left-arm paceman Boult confirmed he had played his last day of international cricket after New Zealand’s campaign ended with a seven-wicket victory over Papua New Guinea. The 34-year-old has seen limited international action since being released from his New Zealand central contract in August 2022, allowing him to play in more domestic T20 leagues abroad. Despite this, Boult featured in New Zealand’s 50-over World Cup campaign last year, where they reached the semifinals before losing to hosts India.

In contrast to the high of a World Cup semifinal, Boult’s international career ended in a low-key setting, during a ‘dead’ T20 World Cup game with both New Zealand and Papua New Guinea already out of contention. “It feels a little bit weird, a few emotions obviously the last couple of days,” Boult reflected after taking two wickets for 14 runs, with fellow quick Lockie Ferguson taking a remarkable 3-0 from his four overs as PNG were bowled out for 78.

Boult retires with an impressive record, having taken 317 wickets in 78 Tests, the fourth-highest for a New Zealand bowler. His tally includes 114 one-day internationals with 211 wickets. His last Test was nearly two years ago against England at Headingley, with the World Cup semifinal being his most recent one-day international.

Williamson paid tribute to Boult, calling him a “great servant of the game” who was “consistent in all formats.” Boult’s retirement marks the end of an era for New Zealand cricket, leaving a legacy of remarkable performances and dedication.

With Boult’s departure, the New Zealand cricket team faces a period of transition. Williamson’s uncertain future in T20 internationals adds another layer of complexity as the team looks to rebuild and strategize for upcoming tournaments. The focus now shifts to red-ball cricket and other formats, with the Kiwis aiming to regroup and come back stronger on the global stage.

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By- Sahiba Suri

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