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New Zealand legend’s shock announcement takes the Internet by storm

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New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult dropped a bombshell on Wednesday as he announced being released from the country’s central contract. The left-arm pacer who is widely regarded as one of the best all-format speedsters in the world took the cricketing world by surprise with his decision to opt-out of New Zealand’s central contract. The World Test championship winner’s choice is set to greatly impact his international career as he will no longer be a part of the Kiwi squad across Tests, ODIs, and T20Is. While it won’t bring curtains down on his glorious career, the opportunities for him to represent New Zealand on the international stage would drop considerably as the New Zealand Cricket (NZC), the nation’s governing body for cricket would give more chances to players who have signed contracts with the board.

“This has been a really tough decision for me and I’d like to thank NZC for their support in getting to this point. Playing cricket for my country was a childhood dream and I’m so proud of everything I’ve been able to achieve with the Blackcaps over the past 12 years. Ultimately this decision is about my wife Gert and our three young boys. The family has always been the biggest motivator for me and I feel comfortable with putting it first and preparing ourselves for life after cricket,” Trent Boult said.

“I still have a big desire to represent my country and feel I have the skills to deliver at the international level. However, I respect the fact that not having a national contract will affect my chances of selection. Having said that, 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,” he added.

NZC chief executive David White revealed that during his discussions with the board, Boult had categorically stated his desire to go on foreign tours with the national team had diminished and he wanted to stay at him to be with his wife and kids.

“We respect Trent’s position,” White said. “He’s been completely honest and up-front with us about his reasoning and, while we’re sad to be losing him as a fully-contracted player, he leaves with our best wishes and our sincere thanks.

“Trent’s made a massive contribution to the Blackcaps since his Test debut in late 2011 and is now considered one of the best multi-format cricketers in the world. We’re very proud of what he’s achieved,” White added.

“We’ve had several conversations and I know Trent understands that, in terms of selection, NZC will continue to make a priority of those players with either central or domestic contracts,” White elaborated.

Trent Boult who plays for the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and was a regular member of the Mumbai Indians (MI) for several years in the tournament is extremely popular with fans in India.

Immediately after the news of his shock decision reached the continent, Trent Boult began trending on Twitter with several cricket admirers lavishing rich praise on the Kiwi speedster.

“Trent boult got 8 cr in IPL bowled 62overs. That means 2 lakh Rs per ball. But for this he has played 12yrs of intl cricket. I respect his decision to leave contract. He can still play intl whenever available. The kind of caliber he has he is a sure starter in every ICC tournament,” a fan wrote on the micro-blogging platform.

“Trent Boult has been released from his New Zealand contract! The Number 1 ranked ODI Bowler might not even participate in the World Cup. Boult wants to play T-20 leagues across the globe and spend time with his family. A massive loss to international cricket!”, another said on the social network.

“Trent Boult has set a new Trend in Cricket, More and More Centrally contracted players will now be giving up their contracts in order to play freely in T20 Leagues & in case the Nation wants them to play in ICC Events, they can always turn up,” a third claimed.

“Heartbreaking news man. Not gonna see much of Trent Boult in Kiwi colours from now on. Hope he plays all the tournaments. He’s completely irreplaceable,” a fourth declared.

“Great decision making by Boult and NZ  Board, he will play overseas test tour and World Cups certainly, its just workload management for useless bilaterals. Don’t forget Trent Boult is second best all format bowler post 2010 after Ashwin, Respect the Champion,” a fifth added.

“Careers are short, even more so as a pacer. He’s already played for NZ for 11 years and has a young family. But his decision still doesn’t bode well for the health of int’l cricket,” a sixth argued.

“The decisions that Quinton de Kock, and specifically Trent Boult, have made, point to a future of shorter international careers and more players happy to be part of the gig economy. With young families, it isn’t easy to play both, international cricket and T20 leagues,” noted commentator Harsha Bhogle summed up.