Trent Boult has stunned the cricket world after announcing he will be stepping away from international cricket.
The world's No.1-ranked ODI bowler was released from his New Zealand Cricket contract on Wednesday, signalling a winding down of his international career.
'AWFUL NEWS': Cricket in shock over death of Rudi Koertzen
'SAD TO SEE': Chris Lynn's $700,000 move against Australia
Citing a desire to spend more time with family, the Kiwi star will devote more time to domestic competitions and looms as an obvious candidate to join the newly-launched UAE T20 League.
The 33-year-old has played 78 Tests, peaking with the World Test Championship final victory over India last year.
He said the call to step away was a "really tough decision".
"Playing cricket for my country was a childhood dream and I'm so proud of everything I've been able to achieve with the Black Caps over the past 12 years," he said.
"Ultimately this decision is about my wife Gert and our three young boys. Family has always been the biggest motivator for me and I feel comfortable with putting it first and preparing ourselves for life after cricket.
"As a fast bowler I know I have a limited career span, and I feel the time is right to move into this next phase."
The left-arm speedster is currently with the Black Caps in the West Indies for a white-ball tour leading into October's T20 World Cup in Australia.
Injuries and performance pending, he is still likely to be picked for that tournament.
Cricket world reacts to sad Trent Boult news
A New Zealand Cricket (NZC) statement issued on Wednesday said Boult would "have a significantly reduced role with the Black Caps during his final years in the game, while still being eligible for selection if and when available".
NZC chief David White said Black Caps selectors would continue to prioritise players with central or domestic contracts.
"We've had several conversations and I know Trent understands that," he said.
"While we're sad to be losing him as a fully-contracted player, he leaves with our best wishes and our sincere thanks."
NEWS | NZC has agreed to release Trent Boult from his central contract so that he can spend more time with his family, while also making himself available for domestic leagues. Boult will complete the tour of the West Indies as scheduled.
READ MORE ⬇ https://t.co/SxFsTymGAN
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) August 9, 2022
Boult, who made his Test debut against Australia in 2011, will go down as one of New Zealand's greatest ever bowlers.
His 317 Test wickets are fourth in his country's all-time standings, more than 70 wickets ahead of Neil Wagner in fifth.
He trails only Richard Hadlee (431 wickets), Daniel Vettori (361) and Tim Southee (347).
Boult is also seventh in New Zealand's all-time ODI wickets (169 from 93 innings) and fourth in T20Is (62 from 44 innings).
Worrying news out of New Zealand...
Trent Boult has requested a release from his NZC central contract so he can spend more time with his family and play in domestic leagues.https://t.co/nqlXFviMdF
— Nic Savage (@nic_savage1) August 9, 2022
Trent Boult pulling out of his New Zealand central contract is huge news: every chance he has played his last Test and that their loss will be Rajasthan, Paarl and Barbados Royals’ gain
He only turned 33 last month and is arguably one of very few world-class three-format quicks
— Matt Roller (@mroller98) August 9, 2022
Massive development that NZC have agreed to release Trent Boult from central contract so that he can spend more time with family. He will be available for domestic T20 leagues and could skip Test series in Pakistan.
This is only the start, more players will follow this route.
— Farid Khan 🇵🇰🇹🇷 (@_FaridKhan) August 9, 2022
This is huge news, worrying, but significant at the same time. Sadly, I don't think Trent Boult will be the last player to prioritise domestic leagues over playing for his country.
— Scott Taylor (@ScottTaylorUK) August 9, 2022
Quinton De Kock, Ben Stokes and now Trent Boult. The dynamics of world cricket are changing steadily due a combination of too much cricket, personal and financial reasons.
This trend isn’t stopping anytime soon, especially among fast bowlers and players > 30. https://t.co/8rERsAZFqp
— Mayank (@freehit_mj) August 9, 2022
Trent Boult will be one of cricket's most underrated players of all time. He rarely has a bad game. Almost identical career stats to Mitchell Starc, yet Boult is the one who gets far less respect. https://t.co/wqLPDs6pKw
— Radio Cricket formerly AltCricket (@RadioCricket) August 9, 2022
NZ Cricket doesn't have the depth to be losing players, like perhaps Aus, Eng and Ind can. The ICC needs to act and find a good compromise, otherwise smaller nations like NZ are going to struggle.
Congrats on a fine international career to Trent Boult, sad to see him go though. https://t.co/5QcjuLZSDZ
— Tim Evans (@TimEvansSKY) August 9, 2022
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.