Kane Williamson steps down as New Zealand’s Test captain

Kane Williamson has stepped down as New Zealand’s Test captain after six years in charge. The Kiwi batter will be replaced by Tim Southee for the upcoming tour of Pakistan.

“Captaining the BLACKCAPS in Test cricket has been an incredibly special honour,” Williamson said. “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,” Williamson added.

After taking over from Brendon McCullum in 2016, Williamson led New Zealand in 40 Tests: winning 22, losing ten and drawing eight games. He averaged 57 and scored 11 hundred as captain, both of which are records for New Zealand. New Zealand enjoyed some of the best moments in Test cricket under the leadership of Williamson. They reached the top of the Test rankings in 2021 before beating India in the final of the inaugural ICC Test Championship in June of that year.

NZC CEO David White congratulated Williamson on the way he’s led the Test side. 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.

BLACKCAPS coach Gary Stead said Williamson had been a fine Test captain.

“Kane’s guided the Test team through an immensely successful period which is a testament to his ability to bring people together and work towards a common goal,” he said. He further added, “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 hands over the captaincy to Tim Southee, who will become New Zealand’s 31st Test captain when they play the first Test against Pakistan in Karachi. Tom Latham, another vital player in New Zealand, will act as a deputy to Southee.

Williamson will still lead the team in ODIs and T20s.