HomeCricketNewsKane Williamson declines New Zealand national contract

Kane Williamson declines New Zealand national contract

New Zealand cricketer Kane Williamson stunned the entire cricket community on Wednesday(June 19) by rejecting a new central contract for the 2024-25 season. Apart from rejecting the central contract, Kane Williamson also stepped down as New Zealand’s limited-overs captain.

Kane Williamson Declines New Zealand National Contract

The 33-year-old admitted that he is pursuing an opportunity to play in an overseas league during the New Zealand summer and hence won’t be available for the national side during that period. Apart from that time frame, he has said that he will be always available to play for New Zealand.

“Helping push the team forward across the formats is something I’m very passionate about and something I want to keep contributing towards,” Williamson said. “However, pursuing an overseas opportunity during the New Zealand summer means I’m unable to accept a central contract offer.

“Playing for New Zealand is something I treasure, and my desire to give back to the team remains undiminished. My life outside cricket has changed however – spending more time with my family and enjoying experiences with them at home or abroad is something that’s even more important to me.”

Even though New Zealand prefer picking players who are centrally contracted, they are willing to make an exception for Williamson, says CEO Scott Weenink.

“This is a good way to help keep Kane in the international game so that he continues to play a major role for the BLACKCAPS – both now and in the years to come,” said Weenink.

“We have very little international cricket in New Zealand through January and outside that period he’s still available for the BLACKCAPS. NZC has a strong preference to select centrally contracted players for the BLACKCAPS, however we’re happy to make an exception for our greatest ever batter – especially as he remains so committed to the team.”

In 2024 T20 World Cup, New Zealand managed to register only two victories out of their four group-stage matches and got eliminated after Afghanistan and West Indies qualified for the Super 8 round from the group.

Under Williamson, New Zealand managed to enter the semi-final round of the previous three T20 World Cups(2022, 2021, 2016). In 2021, New Zealand qualified for the T20 WC 2021 Final but ultimately lost the game by 8 wickets against Australia.

Notably, In December 2022, Kane Williamson stepped down as New Zealand test captain after winning the ICC World Test Championship 2021 Final.

New Zealand won the inaugural edition of WTC
New Zealand won the inaugural edition of WTC

New Zealand fast bowler Lockie Ferguson has also indicated that he won’t be accepting a central contract offer.

He signed off from the T20 World Cup with figures of 4-4-0-3 against PNG, becoming only the second bowler – and the first in T20 World Cups – to bowl four maidens in a men’s T20I. Ferguson has played a Test, 65 ODIs and 42 T20Is.

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