New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on Wednesday agreed to release World No.1 ODI bowler Trent Boult from his central contract to allow him to spend more time with his family and be available to play in domestic leagues around the world.
The decision however, does not mean an end to Boult’s international career but NZC has made it clear that they will give priority at selection to players that are currently contracted.
As of now, Boult has played 78 Tests, 93 ODIs and 44 T20Is so far bagging 317, 169 and 62 wickets respectively.
Commenting on the development, Boult said it had been a difficult call to make. “This has been a really tough decision for me and I’d like to thank NZC for their support in getting to this point. Playing cricket for my country was a childhood dream and I’m so proud of everything I’ve been able to achieve with the BLACKCAPS over the past 12 years,” Boult expressed.
“Ultimately this decision is about my wife Gert and our three young boys. Family has always been the biggest motivator for me and I feel comfortable with putting it first and preparing ourselves for life after cricket,” he added.
Meanwhile, Boult also said that he understood the move would diminish his chances of playing for the national side. “I still have a big desire to represent my country and feel I have the skills to deliver at the international level. However, I respect the fact that not having a national contract will affect my chances of selection. Having said that, as a fast bowler I know I have a limited career span, and I feel the time is right to move into this next phase,” Boult said.
Meanwhile, NZC chief executive David White said the left-armer had made it clear during discussions that his appetite for touring had diminished, and that he wished to spend more time with his family.
“We respect Trent’s position. He’s been completely honest and up-front with us about his reasoning and, while we’re sad to be losing him as a fully-contracted player, he leaves with our best wishes and our sincere thanks. Trent’s made a massive contribution to the BLACKCAPS since his Test debut in late 2011 and is now considered one of the best multi-format cricketers in the world. We’re very proud of what he’s achieved,” White said.
White also said that he was confident Boult understood what the decision meant in terms of his international playing future.
“We’ve had several conversations and I know Trent understands that, in terms of selection, NZC will continue to make a priority of those players with either central or domestic contracts,” he added.