One of the greatest Test cricketers of the current era, Kane Williamson has decided to step down as New Zealand’s Test captain, and Tim Southee will take his place. Williamson will proceed to captain the team in white-ball formats. Williamson took over the captaincy from Brendon McCullum in 2016 and has led New Zealand to 22 victories in 40 Tests.
As captain, he averaged nearly 57 with the bat and scored 11 centuries, which are impressive records in New Zealand’s history.
On his decision, Kane Williamson, said, “Captaining the Blackcaps in Test cricket has been an incredibly special honour. For me, Test cricket is the pinnacle of the game and I’ve enjoyed the challenges of leading the side in the format. 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.”
Under Williamson’s reign, New Zealand had some of their greatest bits in Test cricket. They topped the Test rankings in 2021 before defeating India in the first-ever ICC Test Championship final in June of the same year.
Paying tribute to Williamson, New Zealand Cricket, CEO, David White, commented, “Kane is one of our all-time greats and our priority is to ensure he enjoys his cricket and plays for New Zealand for as long as possible. He’s a brilliant leader and the success the team has achieved during his time in the longest and arguably toughest format of the game, has been nothing short of remarkable.”
Head Coach, Gary Stead, stated, “Kane’s guided the Test team through an immensely successful period which is a testament to his ability to bring people together and work towards a common goal. We hope by lessening his workload we can continue to see the best of Kane Williamson for longer on the international stage, and we know he will remain a key leader in this group.”
Southee has frequently taken over the captain’s armband in Williamson’s absence, even in the T20 format, and will do so again in the upcoming Test tour of Pakistan. Southee’s deputy is the wicketkeeper batter Tom Latham, who has also led the Test side when Williamson wasn’t unavailable.
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