Trent Boult should get to sign off with two World Cups, but a test farewell appears unlikely


Rohit Singh

Modified Aug 22, 2022 12:46 AM IST

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There should be no qualms about keeping Trent Boult in the mix for the Black Caps one-day international squad through to the next October’s World Cup in India. The left-arm seamer secured a release from his New Zealand Cricket contract earlier this month. Wanting to free himself from the demands of touring and the toll it takes on his family. But also wanting to free himself to take part in Twenty20 franchise leagues. Such as the new one being launched in the United Arab Emirates in January and February, the height of the Kiwi summer.

Image Source: Outlook India

What’s less clear is where he will fit in the Black Caps’ test and ODI plans after that. Boult is yet to give any interviews about his decision, but the language in the announcement of the dissolution of his contract about NZ Cricket prioritising contracted players need not signal the end of his international career. From the final match of the ongoing series in the West Indies through to the start of the World Cup.

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Trent Boult still backs to be first choice for New Zealand next year

There will be plenty of rotation across the eight series that follow the current one in the Caribbean and there should. Therefore be no hesitation in picking Boult for the World Cup even if he only features. Jimmy Neesham wasn’t offered a NZ Cricket contract earlier this year and doesn’t have one with a domestic association. But remains a first-choice T20 player and someone in the ODI mix, so it’s not as if there isn’t precedent.

Image Source: ICC Cricket

It depend on Boult’s desires, but he could easily play the six matches at home against India in November. If his Indian Premier League then link up with the team in Bangladesh next September on the eve of the World Cup. Could he also do 10 days in Cairns next month, for one final fling against Australia in Australia. Where his Black Caps career began with a rare test win in Hobart almost 11 years ago?

There will hopefully be more clarity on his plans – and those of selectors Gary Stead and Gavin Larsen – once the team returns to New Zealand next week. With the squad for Australia set to be named before the end of the month. Boult was one of a handful of players whose names would have been written down in ink. He’s the clear leader of the white-ball seam attack and there’s no obvious like-for-like replacement. A format where left-armers are ever-so-valuable.