New Zealand Cricket (NZC) is optimistic that more Black Caps will not follow Trent Boult's footsteps. The bowler has opted out of the central contracts, which means he will play fewer international matches than expected from a centrally contracted player.
Since Boult is counted among New Zealand's cricket greats, NZC worries if more players will decide to quit central contracts to participate in the T20 leagues across the world. Addressing it, the board said that in order to be eligible for top T20 tournaments across the world, the players should also focus on international cricket.
“What the debate has been being that is this going to start more players doing this from a New Zealand point of view? We’ve had no approaches from anyone else. They [the players] are still talking about Test cricket – and performing for New Zealand – as being incredibly important. And we’ve got a global event every year now,”
“The other thing is that if you are going to get a big offer from a big league, you’ve got to be a successful international cricketer. So it’s very important that players perform in bilateral cricket as well,”
It must be noted that Boult will now only be available for some international fixtures, depending on the importance of the match, such as the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia. It means he will not be available so often in the squad.
NZC understands Boult's decision and says it might be due to the pandemic time players have gone through. He respects players' wishes to spend time with family, being less available for cricket matches after isolation and bio-bubble period.
“He’s struggled more than most over the last year or two with isolation – he’s got three young boys – and we’ve tried to manage his workload but think it’s still got to a stage where he’s found it incredibly difficult to be away from home,”