Wednesday, July 24, 2024

“Who would’ve thought the game we played…”: NZ’s Boult reflects on bond with Southee, Williamson


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New Delhi [India], : New Zealand pacer Trent Boult reflected on his bond with 2008 Under 19 World Cup teammates Kane Williamson and Tim Southee following his last ICC T20 World Cup game against Papua New Guinea, which Kiwis won.

"Who would've thought the game we played...": NZ's Boult reflects on bond with Southee, Williamson
“Who would’ve thought the game we played…”: NZ’s Boult reflects on bond with Southee, Williamson

Boult, who has taken 83 wickets in 61 T20Is for the Kiwis, took to Instagram and shared some pictures of him with Williamson and Southee, a trio that has become the backbone of New Zealand’s immense success over the years, which saw them qualify for the knockout stages of ICC white-ball competitions more consistently since 2015 and also win the ICC World Test Championship title together.

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Boult wrote on Instagram, “Time flys!! Who would’ve thought the game we played as young kids would take us this far. Great to look back on some memories with @kane_s_w & @tim_southee.”

Boult has played his last T20 World Cup for New Zealand. In 18 games in the competition since 2014, he has taken 34 wickets at an average of 12.50 and an economy rate of 5.93, with the best bowling figures of 4/13. He is the ninth-highest wicket-taker of all time in this tournament. With him not having a central contract and being available only for ICC tournaments and some bilateral series preceding it, Boult’s future as Kiwis’ premier bowler is also uncertain. The next ICC tournaments will be the ICC Champions Trophy in Pakistan next year and the ICC World Test Championship final in the UK next year. With the next 50-over World Cup scheduled for 2027 in South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe, it is unclear how long the 34-year-old pacer will stick around in national colours.

Notably, New Zealand batter Kane Williamson declined the central contract for the 2024-25 year but emphasised his long-term commitment to the Blackcaps.

NZC on Wednesday released a statement to confirm that the veteran batter opted out of the central contract for the 2024-25 season. Speculations were building around Williamson’s future after New Zealand suffered a heartbreak following an early exit in the ongoing T20 World Cup.

With 358 appearances for the Kiwis in his decorated career, the 33-year-old opted out of the contract list and white-ball captaincy in a bid to extend his international career.

“Helping push the team forward across the formats is something I am very passionate about and something I want to keep contributing towards. However, pursuing an overseas opportunity during the New Zealand summer means I am unable to accept a central contract offer,” Williamson said as quoted from a statement by New Zealand Cricket.

New Zealand’s schedule for the 2024-25 season would not be hectic as the Kiwis have minimal bilateral series commitments till the January window.

But Williamson will remain available for the eight World Test Championship matches that New Zealand will engage in in a bid to once again play in the final, which will be played next year at the Lord’s in June. In November end, New Zealand will play the first Test of the three-match series against England on home soil.

Southee, the 35-year-old pacer who is also the leading wicket-taker for Kiwis in international cricket, is not getting any younger either. His workload as a pacer and Test captain also puts in doubt for how long he will stick around.

New Zealand concluded their T20 World Cup campaign with a convincing 7-wicket win over Papua New Guinea. In Group C, NZ ended in third place with two wins and two losses to the West Indies and Afghanistan, giving them four points. With a win in this game, the Kiwis were able to salvage some pride and walk out of their worst World Cup showing across 50-over and 20-over formats in years with their heads up.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.


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