A new New Zealand Test Captain Announced as Kane Williamson steps down:
In a major announcement made by the New Zealand Cricket earlier today it has been announced that Tim Southee will be the new Test Captain of New Zealand Cricket Team.
This announcement comes in after Kane Williamson had decided to step down as captain of the BLACKCAPS Test side. Williamson assumed the role from Brendon McCullum in 2016 and has captained the Test team on 38 occasions (22 wins, 8 draws, 10 losses).
In a press release, Williamson said : “Captaining the BLACKCAPS in Test cricket has been an incredibly special honour,”
“For me, Test cricket is the pinnacle of the game, and I’ve enjoyed the challenges of leading the side in the format.
“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.
“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 was congratulated by the NZC CEO on the way he led the test side, as he said : “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 the toughest format of the game, has been nothing short of remarkable.
“Statistically, he’s the most successful Test captain we’ve ever had – which culminated in the team rising to the number one ICC Test ranking at the start of 2021 and the eventual victory in the ICC World Test Championship Final in June that year.”
The BlackCaps Coach also praised Kane as 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 said.
“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.
“The Test team has continued to evolve and develop during his time, and the fact we’ve been able to introduce new players and see them thrive almost instantly is a credit to Kane and his leadership.
“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.”
Williamson will be available for selection as a batter as he expressed his desire to still play all three international formats for the BlackCaps. He will continue to lead the BLACKCAPS in ODI and T20I cricket.
Tim Southee who has 346 internationals to his name and has led the T20 side on 22 occasions, will become New Zealand’s 31st Test captain and his first assignment will be the BlackCaps tour of Pakistan which begins later this month.
Tom Latham, who has previously captained the side in Williamson’s absence, has been confirmed as the Test vice-captain.
Tim Southee who is also the current Sir Richard Hadlee Medal winner, said it was humbling to be asked to lead the Test side.
“It’s been a surreal few days, and it’s just a massive honour to be appointed as Test captain.
“I love Test cricket, it’s the ultimate challenge, and I’m really excited by the opportunity to lead the team in this format.”
He also praised Williamson’s captaincy skills by saying : “Kane’s been an outstanding Test captain, and I’m looking forward to working with Gary on how we can build on that.”
Speaking about the appointment, NZC CEO David White Said : “Tim’s a strong and tactically astute leader and has a good feel for the game. I believe he is the right person to build on the foundations that Kane’s created.”
BlackCaps Coach Gary Stead Speaking on the appointment of Southee said : “Tim’s a quality leader with a good cricket brain,”
“We’ve seen his captaincy skills on display with the T20 side, and I’m sure he’ll continue to bring an aggressive style, whilst still maintaining the core fundamentals of how this BLACKCAPS team operates in the Test arena”.
“He will also come from a slightly different perspective in being a bowler, which I’m sure will also bring with it new ideas and fresh thinking.”
New Zealand will be touring Pakistan later this month for a series of two test matches to be played in Karachi and Multan and three One Day Internationals which will also be staged in Karachi. The BLACKCAPS 15-player Test squad to face Pakistan will be confirmed soon.