Kane Williamson quits white-ball captaincy; declines New Zealand’s central contract after T20 World Cup 2024 exit

Reckoned as one of the greatest batters and veteran of the sport of cricket, Kane Williamson on Wednesday, June 19 stepped down as New Zealand’s white-ball captain. The decision from the star player comes after New Zealand’s early exit from the T20 World Cup 2024, underway in the USA and Caribbean. 

Additionally, the 33-year-old has also decided to let go of central contract for the 2024-25 season in order to pursue overseas playing opportunities. He has however reiterated to opt for a normal contract which will allow him to take part in various T20 leagues around the world. 

Speaking after team’s exit from the marquee tournament, Williamson said, “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.”

“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,” Williamson further added. 

It is to be noted that the players under the central contract should be available for the entirety of the Black Caps international schedule and should also commit to the domestic Super Smash competition. However, this move comes as a shock, New Zealand Cricket stated that the Williamson will be available for eight World Test Championship matches before Christmas and will also participate in the ICC Champions Trophy, set to be played in Pakistan next year.

“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 NZC CEO Scott Weenink. “We have very little international cricket in New Zealand through January and outside that period he’s still available for the BLACKCAPS,” he further added. 

It is to be noted that Williamson has led New Zealand in 166 white-ball games, winning 46 ODIs and 39 T20Is. 

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