Christchurch, April 28 (IANS) New Zealand confirmed batsman Kane Williamson as their Test skipper on Thursday, following Brendon McCullum’s retirement in February.
Williamson is already the captain of New Zealand’s One-day International and Twenty20 outfits. He will be the 29th Test captain of his country.
The 25-year-old was favoured to take over the role after McCullum played his final Test against Australia in Christchurch, but New Zealand had opted to defer the decision until after the World T20 in India to ensure the team’s focus remained solely on the shortest form of the game.
Williamson’s captaincy at the tournament, where he led New Zealand to a spot in the semi-finals before their campaign was cut short by England, impressed enough for him to win the role across all three formats.
New Zealand Cricket’s chief executive David White said Williamson was the right man to lead the team forward. “Kane has been a leader within the team for a long time now and already shown himself to be an extremely capable captain,” White said in a statement on Thursday.
“He’s respected by his peers and the wider cricket community for his professional approach both on and off the field, and has a superb cricket brain. “His drive to see the team succeed and his passion for the game are what you look for in a leader. He’s ready for the role and will only continue to grow.”
Williamson, who is currently playing for franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League (IPL), said he was looking forward to the challenge.
“It’s certainly an honour. I’ve really enjoyed my time spent as captain and believe this team can achieve a lot, Williamson said.
“I’m lucky to have a number of experienced players around me for support and will certainly look to utilise this. We’re all striving for the same thing and that’s to represent New Zealand with pride and win cricket games.
“I’ve certainly learnt a lot from Brendon, as has everyone who has played with him.”