Boult granted release from New Zealand Cricket contract

By Sports Desk August 09, 2022

New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) have mutually agreed to terminate his NZC contract to give the 33-year-old more time with his family and a less rigorous travel schedule.

Boult, who made his Test debut against Australia in 2011, will go down as one of New Zealand's greatest ever bowlers, with his 317 Test wickets placing him fourth in his country's all-time standings, more than 70 wickets ahead of Neil Wagner in fifth. He trails only Richard Hadlee (431 wickets), Daniel Vettori (361) and Tim Southee (347).

Boult also comes in at seventh in New Zealand's all-time ODI wickets (169 from 93 innings) and fourth in T20Is (62 from 44 innings).

NZC chief executive David White said he understands the left-arm bowler's decision.

"We respect Trent's position," he said. "Trent's made a massive contribution to the Black Caps 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."

While this does not mean Boult has completely withdrawn from international play, White admits selectors will prioritise players on central or domestic contracts.

"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 said.

Boult admitted it was a tough decision, but that his priorities have changed as he has grown older.

"Playing cricket for my country was a childhood dream, and I'm so proud of everything I've been able to achieve with the Black Caps over the past 12 years," he said.

"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.

"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 will continue to play domestic cricket, and will likely put his hand up for any international fixtures contested in New Zealand.

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