Kane Williamson Hardik Pandya
Kane Williamson Hardik Pandya. Image Credits: Twitter

The 32-year-old top batsman for the New Zealand National Cricket Team, Kane Williamson, has opted to step down as Test captain. Tim Southee, a senior right-arm pacer, has been named as his replacement, while Tom Latham will serve as his deputy.

After Brendon McCullum retired in 2016, Kane Williamson was named captain. By the time he retires, Williamson will likely be remembered as New Zealand’s greatest batter. In 40 Tests, he steered the Black Caps to 22 victories.

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Kane Williamson
New Zealand with the ICC WTC Mace [Image- Getty]

By defeating the Virat Kohli-led India National Cricket Team in 2021, the New Zealand National Cricket Team, under his direction, won the maiden ICC World Test Championship.

Kane Williamson stated in a statement released by New Zealand Cricket (NZC) that captaining New Zealand had been an “extremely unique honour” for him, but that the time had come for him to step down from the position. Williamson had faith that Southee and Latham, the newly installed captains, would excel in Test cricket.

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“Captaining the BLACKCAPS in Test cricket has been an incredibly special honour. 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,” he said.

“I’m excited to support Tim as captain and Tom as vice-captain. 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,” he added.

Kane Williamson has guided the Test team through an immensely successful period – Gary Stead

Kane Williamson and Gary Stead
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson and head coach Gary Stead. Credits: Twitter

Kane Williamson, 32, led from the front with his performances in Test cricket, according to New Zealand National Cricket Team head coach Gary Stead. He stated:

Kane’s guided the Test team through an immensely successful period which is testament to his ability to bring people together and work towards a common goal. He’s certainly led from the front with his own performances and that was very much the case during our push to win the World Test Championship.

“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.”

Given Southee’s 346 international appearances, one of the most seasoned Kiwi players, New Zealand’s Test skipper is in good hands. Tom Latham has also skippered the Kiwis on a few occasions in Test cricket, and Southee has also led the Black Caps in 22 T20 Internationals. Southee will captain New Zealand for the 31st time in a Test match.

Tim Southee
Tim Southee. Pic Credits: Twitter.

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