Kane Williamson has resigned from Test captaincy with immediate effect. New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has appointed the veteran fast bowler Tim Southee as his successor, and his first assignment will be a Test series against Pakistan.
“Captaining the BLACKCAPS in Test cricket has been an incredibly special honor,” Williamson said. “For me, Test cricket is the pinnacle of the game and I’ve enjoyed the challenges of leading the side in the format.
Williamson stated that he wants to prioritize white-ball cricket, where he’ll continue to lead the team in both ODIs and T20Is. Of late he has been bogged down by a recurrent elbow injury, and at 32, workload management will help him to prolong his career.
“Captaincy comes with an increased workload on and off the field and at this stage of my career, I feel the time is right for this decision. After discussions with NZC, we felt that continuing to captain the white-ball formats was preferable with two World Cups in the next two years,” Williamson added.
Williamson took the reign of Test captaincy from Brendon McCullum in 2016 and has since led the team on 40 occasions, winning 22 and losing 10. Moreover, throughout his captaincy period, Williamson averaged 57.43, and scored 11 centuries and 14 half-centuries. Only Brian Lara averaged more as a captain than him. Williamson’s biggest achievement as a Test skipper came last year, when he led New Zealand to an inaugural World Test Championship.
Williamson’s resignation also means that for the first time in over five years, none of the fab four is leading their respective team. While Steven Smith was sacked because of his involvement in ball-tampering scandal, the year 2022 saw Joe Root and Virat Kohli
stepping down as Test captains of their respective nations.
“I’m excited to support Tim as captain and Tom [Latham] as vice-captain,” said Williamson. “Having played with both of them for most of my career, I’m confident they’ll do a great job. Playing for the BLACKCAPS and contributing in all three formats is my
number one priority and I’m looking forward to the cricket we have ahead.”
Lead Image: BlackCaps