19 Jun 2024, 13:59

Kane Williamson steps down as New Zealand captain

WELLINGTON, June 19, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - Kane Williamson has stepped down as
captain of New Zealand's white-ball teams, the Black Caps said Wednesday,
days after they crashed out in the group stage of the T20 World Cup.

Williamson has turned down a central contract for the 2024/25 season,
relinquishing the captaincy of the Twenty20 and one-day teams. He will still
however play international cricket.

It leaves the 33-year-old star batsman able to accept offers to play in
lucrative overseas competitions.

"Pursuing an overseas opportunity during the New Zealand summer means I'm
unable to accept a central contract offer," he said in a statement.

He can still play for New Zealand, with the Black Caps scheduled to play Test
matches against Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, India and England later this year.

Williamson said his decision to turn down a central contract and give up the
limited-overs captaincy should not be interpreted as a sign he was losing
interest in international cricket.

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

Williamson had skippered New Zealand in all three formats until he gave up
the Test captaincy to fast bowler Tim Southee in late 2022.

Since making his debut in 2010, Williamson has played 100 tests, 165 one-day
internationals and 93 T20 games for New Zealand.