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Boult to step back from Black Caps

Citing a desire to spend more time with family, Trent Boult has been released from his New Zealand Cricket contract, signalling a winding down of his international career.

The world’s No.1-ranked ODI bowler is currently with the Black Caps in the West Indies for a white-ball tour leading into October’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

Injuries and performance pending, Boult is still likely to be picked for that tournament.

Beyond that, Boult will devote more time to domestic competitions, looming as an obvious candidate to join the newly launched UAE T20 League.

Boult, 33, has played 78 Tests, peaking with the World Test Championship final victory over India last year.

He said the call to step away was a “really tough decision”.

“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.

“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.”

A New Zealand Cricket (NZC) statement issued on Wednesday said Boult would “have a significantly reduced role with the Black Caps during his final years in the game, while still being eligible for selection if and when available”.

NZC chief David White said Black Caps selectors would continue to prioritise players with central or domestic contracts.

“We’ve had several conversations and I know Trent understands that,” he said.

“While we’re sad to be losing him as a fully-contracted player, he leaves with our best wishes and our sincere thanks.”

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