Williamson steps down as NZ test captain, Southee takes over

Kane Williamson captained New Zealand in 40 tests - with 22 wins, 10 defeats and eight draws

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Cricket - Third Test - England v New Zealand - Yorkshire Cricket Ground, Leeds, Britain - June 25, 2022 New Zealands Kane Williamson leaves the field after being caught out by Englands Jonny Bairstow off the bowling of Matthew Potts Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
Cricket - Third Test - England v New Zealand - Yorkshire Cricket Ground, Leeds, Britain - June 25, 2022 New Zealand's Kane Williamson leaves the field after being caught out by England's Jonny Bairstow off the bowling of Matthew Potts Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith
  • Williamson captained NZ in 40 tests, won 22, lost 10, eight drawn
  • NZ won the inaugural WTC under Kane's leadership
  • NZ announced their squad for their tour to Pakistan later this month


Kane Williamson has stepped down as New Zealand Test captain and has been replaced by Tim Southee, the country's cricket board (NZC) said on Thursday.

After taking charge in 2016, Williamson captained New Zealand in 40 tests - with 22 wins, 10 defeats and eight draws - and led the team to victory over India in the inaugural World Test Championship final in 2021.

"For me, test cricket is the pinnacle of the game and I've enjoyed the challenges of leading the side in the format," said Williamson.

"Captaincy comes with an increased workload on and off the field and at this stage of my career I feel the time is right for this decision."

Williamson will remain New Zealand's white-ball captain and he said he will continue to play in all three formats.

Southee, who stood in as captain for 22 Twenty20 internationals between 2017-21, will lead the test team on their next assignment - a two-match series in Pakistan starting later this month.

"It's been a surreal few days and it's just a massive honour to be appointed as test captain," Southee said.

"I love test cricket, it's the ultimate challenge and I'm really excited by the opportunity to lead the team in this format."

NZ announces squad for Pakistan tour

NZC also announced their squad for the tour of Pakistan on Thursday, with spinner Ish Sodhi returning to the Test team four years after his last appearance in the longest format.

Batsman Glenn Phillips, whose only previous test match appearance for New Zealand came against Australia in 2020, was also included in the squad, while fast bowlers Trent Boult (unavailable) and Kyle Jamieson (back injury) missed out.

New Zealand have included leg-spinner Ish Sodhi in their 15-member squad for their upcoming tour to Pakistan for the two-match Test series.

The 30-year-old has been included alongside Glenn Phillips and uncapped Blair Tickner for the series which is scheduled to start in Karachi on December 26 and conclude in Multan on January 3.

“I know all three of the guys have a real passion for the longest form of the game and are looking forward to getting into their red-ball work at the pre-tour camp in Lincoln this week,” said New Zealand Coach Gary Stead on the trio’s inclusion in the squad.

On Sodhi’s inclusion, the Blackcaps coach said that they have included Sodhi after looking at the current conditions and style of play in the Pakistan and England Test series.

NZ squad:

Tim Southee (capt), Michael Bracewell, Tom Blundell, Devon Conway, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Glenn Phillips, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson, Will Young