New Zealand star Kane Williamson has relinquished his Test captaincy, confirmed by the country’s cricket board on Thursday. Williamson, who led the Black Caps to victory in the inaugural World Test Championship final against India, will continue as ODI and T20I captain and also expressed his desire to keep playing all three formats.
Notably, Williamson took over the reins from Brendon McCullum in 2016 and led New Zealand in 40 Tests. Under his leadership, New Zealand won 22 Tests and lost ten while eight games were drawn. He averaged 57 and scored 11 centuries as captain.
Williamson will now be replaced by veteran pace bowler Tim Southee for the upcoming tour of Pakistan. Similarly, opening batter Tom Latham has been appointed as vice-captain after previously leading the side in Williamson’s absence.
“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,” said Williamson in an official statement.
“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 added.
Meanwhile, Southee – who has 346 international games to his name and has captained the T20 side on 22 occasions – will become New Zealand’s 31st Test skipper in the upcoming tour of Pakistan, starting December 26.