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Kane Williamson has officially stepped down as skipper of New Zealand from Test cricket with the leadership duties to be taken over by pacer Tim Southee. However, it is understood that Williamson will continue leading the side in the 50-over format and the T20Is.
The veteran batter took over the role in 2016 when Brendon McCullum stepped down and since then, he has led the side to 22 wins in 40 Tests. Williamson confirmed relinquishing the Test captaincy and stated that he would continue supporting the Black Caps and new skipper Tim Southee.
BREAKING: Kane Williamson has stepped down as New Zealand Test captain, with Tim Southee named as his successor.
Williamson will continue to lead the Blackcaps in ODIs and T20Is pic.twitter.com/62VhNf5YTd
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) December 14, 2022
“I’m excited to support Tim as captain and Tom (Latham) 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 Black Caps and contributing in all three formats is my number one priority and I’m looking forward to the cricket we have ahead,” said Williamson as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.
New Zealand relished some terrific moments under Williamson’s leadership especially when they reached the top of the Test rankings in 2021. Furthermore, the Kiwis eventually went on to clinch the inaugural ICC Test Championship against India.
Kane is one of our all-time greats: New Zealand Cricket CEO
New Zealand Cricket CEO David White paid tribute to the former skipper and reckoned to ensure that he plays for ‘as long as possible’.
“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,” said White.
Southee has taken over the captaincy role on a few occasions in the past, though in the ODI and T20I in the absence of Williamson. The onus will be on the veteran pacer to guide the Kiwis while donning the whites as his first major assignment comes against Pakistan in the Test series away from home, scheduled to commence on December 26.
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