Kane Williamson steps down as New Zealand Test captain
Kane Williamson has stepped down as New Zealand’s Test captain and will be replaced by Tim Southee.
Williamson will continue to play his country in one-day internationals and T20 cricket and has reiterated his desire to play all three formats.
The 32-year-old captained the Black Caps Test team 40 times – 22 wins, eight draws and 10 losses – after taking over the role from Brendon McCullum in 2016 and scoring 11 goals during that tenure.
Southee, who has 346 caps to his name and has captained the T20 side on 22 occasions, will become New Zealand’s 31st Test captain when he leads the team on this month’s Test tour to Pakistan.
Canterbury opener Tom Latham has been confirmed as Test vice-captain after previously leading the side in Williamson’s absence.
“Captainship comes with an increased workload on and off the field, and at this stage in my career I feel the time is right to make that decision,” Williamson said in a statement.
“Following discussions with NZC (New Zealand Cricket) we felt that with two World Cups over the next two years it would be preferable to continue captaining the white ball formats.
“I look forward to supporting Tim as captain and Tom as vice-captain. Having played with both for most of my career, I am confident that they will do a great job.
“Playing for the Black Caps and contributing in all three formats is a top priority for me and I look forward to the cricket that lies ahead.”
Black Caps coach Gary Stead said he hoped the move would help extend Williamson’s international career and backed bowler Southee, 34, to bring a “slightly different perspective” to the role.
“Kane has led the testing team through an extremely successful period, demonstrating his ability to bring people together and work towards a common goal,” he said.
“We hope that by lightening his workload we can see the best of Kane Williamson longer on the international stage and we know he will play a key role in this group.”
On Southee’s appointment, Stead added: “Tim is a quality leader with a good cricket brain.
“We’ve seen his skills as a captain with the T20 squad and I’m sure he’ll continue to bring an aggressive style to his game while continuing to maintain the core fundamentals of how this Black Caps team works in the Test arena.
“He’ll also come from a slightly different perspective than Bowler, which is sure to bring new ideas and fresh thinking as well.”