Kane Williamson, who led New Zealand to the World Test Championship 2021-23 conquest in its inaugural edition, stepped down as captain from the longest format, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) announced on Thursday. Veteran pacer Tim Southee has been named his replacement in its WTC title defense. Williamson will continue to captain the side in the white-ball format, focusing on the 50-over World Cup 2023 and 20-20 World Cup 2024. Wicketkeeper-opener Tom Latham has been assigned as its vice-captain.
Williamson said he loved the challenges and difficulties of leading the team in the Test format and it was an extreme honor to be the captain. He took over the role in 2016 from Brendon McCullum. Statistically, Williamson has been a brilliant Test skipper for the Blackcaps, winning 22 of 40 games, eight draws, and just 10 losses.
“Captaining the Black Caps in Test cricket has been an extraordinary honor. For me, Test cricket is the pinnacle of the game, and I’ve enjoyed the challenges of leading the side in the format, 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,” said Williamson.
‘I’m really excited by the opportunity’- Tim Southee
Williamson leaves behind a rich legacy as captain as the star batter excelled with the bat when leading the BlackCaps in Tests. He averaged 57 as captain and hit 11 centuries as captain with 8 of them coming in winning causes.
Meanwhile, Southee, who has played 88 Tests and picked up 347 wickets, said he is looking forward to leading the BlackCaps in Tests. He also talked about Kane and said that he’s been a brilliant skipper in the longer format.
“It’s been a surreal few days and it’s just a massive honor 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. Kane’s been an outstanding Test captain and I’m looking forward to working with Gary on how we can build on that.” he said.
Here’s how fans reacted on Twitter:
Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Joe Root, Kane Williamson – Now the all member of Fab 4 are not the Test captains of their countries.— CricketMAN2 (@ImTanujSingh) December 15, 2022
End of an Era! pic.twitter.com/PfrAMsQz7S
Kane Williamson has stepped down from Test Captaincy, Tim Southee will now lead NZ in Test Cricket.#KaneWilliamson— Sohaib Khan (@CricketSohaib23) December 15, 2022