"Blackcaps will miss him as a leader" - Fans react as Kane Williamson refuses to accept New Zealand's central contract for 2024-25 season

Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson relinquished central contract. (Credit: Getty/Twitter)

Ace New Zealand batter Kane Williamson has refused to accept a central contract for the 2024-25 season on Wednesday, June 19. He also stepped down from leadership positions but affirmed that he remains committed to New Zealand cricket.

Williamson revealed that he is looking forward to playing overseas T20 leagues during the upcoming summer and thus, won't be available for the national side. He will be available for selection for the rest of the period.

In an official release, Kane Williamson said:

“Helping push the team forward across the formats is something I’m very passionate about and something I want to keep contributing towards."
“However, pursuing an overseas opportunity during the New Zealand summer means I’m unable to accept a central contract offer. Playing for New Zealand is something I treasure, and my desire to give back to the team remains undiminished," he added.

Fans were unhappy to learn about Kane Williamson's decision and expressed themselves on social media. From labeling Williamson as the Blackcaps' 'greatest captain' to stating that 'it is the end of an era,' fans showered praise on the 33-year-old.

Here are some reactions:

"Kane Williamson stepped down as NZ Captain. A great captain and a great player, probably the most humble cricketer in history. Blackcaps will miss him as a leader. Truly an end of era in NZ cricket," a fan wrote on X.
"End of the captaincy era of Fab 4," another fan chimed in.
"End of an Era of Legend KANE WILLIAMSON. Most classy battter and most underrated Captain of New Zealand team," another fan expressed.

"We’re happy to make an exception for our greatest ever batter" - NZC CEO Scott Weenink on Kane Williamson

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) CEO Scott Weenink stated Williamson is a legend and has the right to take some time off from international cricket. He added that they can make an exception for the right-handed batter, who remains committed to New Zealand cricket.

“This is a good way to help keep Kane in the international game so that he continues to play a major role for the BLACKCAPS – both now and in the years to come,” Weenink said in the release. “We have very little international cricket in New Zealand through January and outside that period he’s still available for the BLACKCAPS."
“NZC has a strong preference to select centrally contracted players for the BLACKCAPS, however, we’re happy to make an exception for our greatest-ever batter – especially as he remains so committed to the team," he added.

Williamson was last seen in action during the T20 World Cup 2024 in the West Indies and the USA. The Kiwis suffered a horrendous campaign, crashing out of the group stage after losing to Afghanistan and the West Indies.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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