Kane Williamson steps down from the Test captaincy; New Zealand appoints a veteran as its new captain
Kane Williamson, New Zealand's veteran star, has decided to step down as captain of his team and relinquish his captaincy in the longer format of the game. The New Zealand Cricket Board also confirmed on Thursday that Williamson, who led his country to the inaugural World Test Championship title, will not lead his country in red-ball cricket anymore.
However, Williamson will continue leading the Kiwis in the white-ball format of the game and will also be part of the team in all three formats. The 32-year-old took over captaincy duties from Brendon McCullum in 2016.
He has led the Black Caps in a total of 40 Test matches and has 22 wins under his belt including the WTC title while New Zealand has lost 10 Tests and 8 ended in a draw. As a Test captain, he has scored 11 centuries and scored runs at 57 in red-ball cricket.
However, the New Zealand board has named the veteran Kiwi pacer Tim Southee the captain for the upcoming tour of Pakistan for a three-match test series. Meanwhile, wicketkeeper-batsman Tom Latham has been named the vice-captain of the side.
Latham led New Zealand in the absence of Williamson earlier. In making his decision, Williamson thanked his team and teammates and also wished Southee and Latham well in their new roles on the team.
Williamson said, "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. Playing in all three formats is my number one priority, and I’m looking forward to the cricket we have ahead."
Thus, the Southee will be seen in action on the Pakistan tour, which begins on December 26. He has played a total of 346 games for his country across all three formats and has also led New Zealand on 22 occasions. He will now be the 31st player to lead New Zealand in the longest format.