London, June 9 (IANS) According to head coach Gary Stead, New Zealand’s left-arm fast bowler Trent Boult is on the line to make a return to the Test team despite declining a central contract.
Boult, 33, was released from his New Zealand Cricket Central Contract last year to spend time with his family and feature in various T20 leagues around the world. He last played for New Zealand in the 2022 Men’s T20 World Cup semifinal against Pakistan.
Though he was not included in New Zealand’s list of contracted players on Thursday, Boult has instead signed a casual playing agreement with the national side. Stead believes this agreement will see Boult being involved in upcoming Tests for New Zealand, especially with matches against Australia and South Africa coming up in their 2023/24 summer of cricket.
“We’re speaking about that at the moment. Whilst I don’t know what that answer is just yet, we have six Tests coming up soon, I think Trent may be available for some. Then that’s a decision that we have to make of how that fits in overall with where we’re going as a team and the benefits of Trent Boult being back in white for us as well.”
“It’s not just as easy as he’s available, now let’s select him straight away because that actually has an impact on other people within the group as well. So it’s just working through those issues and hopefully coming to a conclusion I guess in time that works for everyone,” Stead was quoted as saying by SENZ Radio.
Stead had earlier said Boult will be available to play for New Zealand in this year’s ODI World Cup, to be held in India in October-November. He added that discussions to have Boult around the New Zealand side also depend on the schedule of his T20 franchise league commitments.
“I guess with Trent, he was initially offered a contract but declined it and that’s his prerogative to do so. But he’s also made it clear to us that he does have an interest to play for New Zealand still.”
“It has basically just put some parameters in place that we both will have to agree to that keeps him ready and fit for selection. Then it becomes a two-way conversation between Trent and New Zealand Cricket around what he is available for and how that lines up.”
“So they’re ongoing discussions that (we) are having at the moment, we don’t know all the dates of the leagues and certainly the international season hasn’t completely been put out yet so we’re just waiting on some of those things to be able to finalise them,” he concluded.