NZC agree to release Trent Boult from central contract; pacer opts for semi-retirement
Trent Boult has opted to semi-retire from the international game with good 5 years of cricket left in him.
Trent Boult sent a shockwave across the cricket world on Wednesday (August 10), with New Zealand Cricket (NZC) confirming that the bowler had requested a release from his central contract that binds him to play for the country.
Boult and NZC have reached an agreement for the bowler to no longer be on a central contract to play the Black Caps. The NZC says the left-arm pacer will complete the coming tour of the Caribbean but will be a sporadic presence at the international stage thereafter.
NZC informed the bowler had sought the NOC to be released from the central contract "so that he can spend more time with his family, while also making himself available for domestic leagues."
Confirming this as the beginning of Trent Boult's "final years" at the highest level, NZC stressed the bowler will have a "significantly reduced role" with the side going forward, indirectly suggesting he has semi-retired and the direction where the international cricket is headed.
"We respect Trent Boult's position" - NZC
Expectedly not over the moon on losing their premier speedster for the remainder of his career, NZC, however, said the board "respect" Trent Boult's decision as he aims to free up his commitments to spend time with his young family and maximise his time in leagues around the world.
Boult attested to the same when he said: "This has been a really tough decision for me and I’d like to thank NZC for their support in getting to this point."
"Playing cricket for my country was a childhood dream and I’m so proud of everything I’ve been able to achieve with the BLACKCAPS over the past 12 years."
"Ultimately this decision is about my wife Gert and our three young boys. Family has always been the biggest motivator for me and I feel comfortable with putting it first and preparing ourselves for life after cricket."
While respectful and understanding of his move, NZC made it absolutely clear what the decision would mean for Trent Boult's future selection since the selectors would prefer those with either the domestic or international contract with the board.
“We’ve had several conversations and I know Trent understands that, in terms of selection, NZC will continue to make a priority of those players with either central or domestic contracts," said NZC CEO David White.
Trent Boult has played 78 Tests, 93 ODIs and 44 T20Is for New Zealand with over 500 international wickets to his name, including 317 in Test cricket.