Kane Williamson stands down as New Zealand Test cricket captain | New Zealand cricket team

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Kane Williamson has stepped down as captain of New Zealand’s Test team with Tim Southee to replace the 32-year-old in a move that brings to an end a hugely successful stint in charge of the Black Caps.

Williamson, who led his side to the inaugural World Test Championship last year, passes the baton to Southee after leading New Zealand in 40 matches for a 55% winning record of 22 wins, with 10 defeats and eight draws also to his name.

He will remain with the Test team as a specialist batter and continue to captain New Zealand in the 50 and 20 over formats of the game, with two World Cups on the horizon.

“Captaining the Black Caps in Test cricket has been an incredibly special honour,” Williamson said. “For me, Test cricket is the pinnacle of the game and I’ve enjoyed the challenges of leading the side in the format.

“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 the decision. After discussions with NZC, we felt that continuing to captain the white-ball formats was preferable with two World Cups in the next two years.”

Opening bat Tom Latham will take on the role of Southee’s vice-captain.

New Zealand coach Gary Stead said he hoped by standing down as captain, Williamson would be able to further prolong his career in the Test arena.

“Kane’s guided the test team through an immensely successful period which is testament to his ability to bring people together and work towards a common goal,” he said.

“He’s certainly led from the front with his own performances and that was very much the case during our push to win the World Test Championship.

“The Test team has continued to evolve and develop during his time and the fact we’ve been able to introduce new players and see them thrive almost instantly is a credit to Kane and his leadership.

“We hope by lessening his workload we can continue to see the best of Kane Williamson for longer on the international stage, and we know he will remain a key leader in this group.”

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