Cricket world stunned by 'worrying' Trent Boult news: 'Sad to see'

Trent Boult, pictured here in action for New Zealand during a Test match in 2018.
Trent Boult in action for New Zealand during a Test match in 2018. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

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.

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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.

Trent Boult, pictured here in action for New Zealand in a Test match against England.
Trent Boult in action for New Zealand in a Test match against England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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."

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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).

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