Boult harbours Test hopes but 'aware' New Zealand withdrawal will impact selection

By Sports Desk August 25, 2022

Trent Boult hopes he has not played his last Test match for New Zealand but acknowledged his central contract withdrawal will affect selection decisions.

The left-arm quick made the bold choice to step away from his central contract with the Black Caps earlier in August, allowing him more time to focus on family life and franchise cricket.

Boult and New Zealand Cricket (NZC) agreed on a mutual termination of his contract, with the 33-year-old looking to move away from the rigorous international cricket schedule.

New Zealand will miss his wicket-taking ability should they not select Boult, with only Richard Hadlee (431 wickets), Daniel Vettori (361) and Tim Southee (347) managing more than his 317 Test dismissals.

The Black Caps head for a two-Test series against Pakistan in December 2022 before two more fixtures in the longest format against England in February 2023, and Boult hopes to feature despite his decision.

"I hope not," Boult said when asked if the Test he played against England in June could be his last. "I'm fully aware that with the decision I made to give that contract back, it's going to affect that selection.

"I'm taking it almost week by week really. There's a lot of cricket to be played before then. I know the next series is in Pakistan and then at my home ground [Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui] against England in the new year, but it's too far away to tell.

"I'm going to leave that with New Zealand Cricket and respect their decision."

Boult has retained his ODI place for the upcoming three-match series against Australia, while he has made his intentions clear to feature at the T20 World Cup in October.

"I remember talking to Kane [Williamson] after 2019 at Lord's [where New Zealand lost to England in the final] and saying we want to be there in four years' time," he added.

"It's only a few months around the corner and there's a lot of hunger to try to have another crack at that trophy."

While Boult remains hopeful of keeping his place in the international setup, he reiterated the decision to reduce his workload was due to wanting more time with his family.

"Without getting too financially specific, I'd be more able to bring them on tour [when playing T20 leagues]," he continued.

"I've got three young boys that only see dad for eight weeks a year at the moment. If I don't play any international cricket, obviously I still want to, then that might be a couple of leagues a year and 10 months at home rather than the other way around.

"I'm not getting too far ahead – it's a hard one to forecast at the moment."

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