Kane Williamson gives up white-ball captaincy; rejects fresh New Zealand contract

Kane Williamson has stepped down as New Zealand whiteball captain for the 2024/25 season.
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New Zealand star cricketer Kane Williamson announced his decision to step down as the white-ball team's captain and denied the board's offer of a central contract for the 2024–25 season. The New Zealand cricket board revealed the decision made by Williamson to extend his international career despite not taking up the contract.

This decision came after New Zealand failed to place themselves in the Super 8's stage of the T20 World Cup 2024 following their crushing loss against Afghanistan in the opening match, while hosts the West Indies toppled them in the next game. Notably, the Kiwis defeated Uganda and PNG in the last two games, but these two wins with four points failed to place them in the next stage, causing them an early exit.

Kane Williamson has been known as one of the most successful captains in the history of international cricket. The 33-year-old cricketer guided his side to win the WTC Final 2021 after his side outclassed Virat Kohli-led Team India at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. Furthermore, the top-order batter also guided the Kiwis to reach the finals of the 2015 ODI World Cup and the 2019 ODI World Cup, but they suffered defeats over Australia and England, respectively. However, Williamson guided his side to reach the semi-finals of the ODI World Cup held last year, but hosts India denied their win to make them enter the final game.

The opening batter revealed that he has always admired and cherished his captaincy days. He also added that he was always very passionate about contributing to the team's win and pushing players hard. However, he revealed that he won't be able to take part in the overseas league if he accepts the New Zealand contract.

"Helping push the team forward across the formats is something I'm very passionate about and something I want to keep contributing towards. However, pursuing an overseas opportunity during the New Zealand summer means I'm unable to accept a central contract offer," Williamson said in a New Zealand Cricket (NZC) release.

My desire to give back to the team remains undiminished: Kane Williamson

Williamson further added that he always admired and loved representing his home side as the batter alongside the captain. The Tauranga-born cricketer revealed that he now sets aside some time with his family, which is more important to him at this moment than anything else.

"Playing for New Zealand is something I treasure, and my desire to give back to the team remains undiminished. My life outside cricket has changed, however. Spending more time with my family and enjoying experiences with them at home or abroad is something that's even more important to me," he added further.