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Trent Boult: A Stellar Journey in T20I Cricket and Beyond

Trent Boult officially announces that ICC Men's T20I World Cup 2024 would be his last for New Zealand. Let's checkout Trent Boult's contribution to the T20I cricket.

Trent Boult officially announces that ICC Men's T20I World Cup 2024 would be his last for New Zealand | Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©blackcaps_X)
Trent Boult announces his retirement from T20Is (Photo: ©blackcaps/X)

In the annals of New Zealand cricket, few names have shone as brightly as Trent Boult. The left-arm fast bowler has been a cornerstone of the Black Caps' bowling attack across formats for over a decade. With his recent announcement to wind down his international career, Boult's T20I journey stands as a testament to his immense skill and impact on the game.

T20I Cricket: A snapshot of Boult's brilliance

Trent Boult made his T20I debut in 2013 and quickly became a pivotal figure in New Zealand's shortest format setup. In over 60 matches, Boult claimed 81 wickets at an average of 21.79 and an economy rate of 7.75. His ability to swing the ball both ways, combined with his pinpoint accuracy made him a lethal weapon in the powerplay and at the death.

Boult's performances in ICC tournaments have been particularly noteworthy. In the 2021 T20 World Cup, he was the leading wicket-taker for New Zealand, capturing 13 wickets in seven matches at an average of 13.31 and an economy rate of 6.25. His crucial spells played a significant role in guiding New Zealand to the final, where they narrowly missed out on the title.

He was also the second highest wicket-taker for the Kiwis in the 2022 World Cup with eight wickets in just five games at an impressive average of 18.50. However, the Kane Williamson-led side failed to perform at a crucial stage and lost to Pakistan in the semis. 

Reflecting on his T20I career, Boult announced after New Zealand's win against Uganda in the 2024 Men's T20 World Cup, "Speaking on behalf of myself, this will be my last T20 World Cup, so yeah, that's all I have to say." This statement marked the end of an era, as Boult had been a linchpin in New Zealand's T20I squad for years.

ODI Achievements: A pillar of consistency

While Boult's T20I career was illustrious, his contributions to One Day Internationals (ODIs) were equally significant. Boult has played 114 ODIs, taking 211 wickets at an average of 24.38. His ODI journey is dotted with memorable performances, including leading New Zealand's bowling attack in multiple World Cups.

In the 2015 ODI World Cup, Boult was the tournament's leading wicket-taker with 22 wickets at an average of 16.86 and an economy of 4.36. His ability to strike early helped New Zealand reach their first-ever World Cup final that they lost against their arch-rivals Australia. 

Four years later, in the 2019 ODI World Cup, Boult was the second-leading wicket-taker for New Zealand, taking 17 wickets in 10 matches with an economy of 4.84. His efforts were instrumental in New Zealand's run to another World Cup final, where they finished as runners-up in a heart-stopping contest against England. He was one who bowled that iconic Super Over against the Eoin Morgan-led side in the final. 

Even in the 2023 ODI World Cup, Boult remained a key performer, taking 14 wickets in 10 matches at an average of 36 and an economy rate of 5.54. His consistent wicket-taking ability across different World Cups underscores his importance to the Black Caps' success on the global stage.

Trent Boult opts out of the central contract with New Zealand Cricket _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©ICC_Twitter)
Boult will go down as of the greatest bowlers of New Zealand (Source: ©ICC/Twitter)
Test Cricket: A legacy cemented

Boult's prowess is not confined to limited-overs cricket. In Test matches, he has been a force to be reckoned with, claiming 317 wickets in 78 matches at an average of 27.49. Boult's ability to extract movement and bounce made him a nightmare for batters around the world.

One of his career highlights came in the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) final in 2021, where New Zealand triumphed over India. Boult played a crucial role in this victory, demonstrating his skill and composure in the game's longest format. He picked five wickets in the match including India's modern wall Cheteshwar Pujara, then vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, wicket-keeper batter Rishabh Pant and Ashwin. 

His contributions to Test cricket have solidified his place as one of New Zealand's greatest bowlers, second only to the legendary Sir Richard Hadlee in terms of impact and legacy. Notably, he is also the fourth highest wicket-taker for Black Caps. 

Balancing family and career: The tough decision

In August 2022, Boult made a significant decision to be released from his central contract with New Zealand Cricket (NZC), citing a desire to spend more time with his family and participate in domestic leagues around the world. "Ultimately, this decision is about my wife Gert and our three young boys," Boult said. "Family has always been the biggest motivator for me, and I feel comfortable with putting it first and preparing ourselves for life after cricket."

Boult's decision was met with understanding and respect from NZC. Chief Executive David White stated, "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."

A future in domestic leagues

As Trent Boult steps back from international cricket, he remains a sought-after player in domestic leagues worldwide. His prowess in T20 cricket makes him an attractive candidate for leagues like the UAE T20 League, Major League Cricket and the Big Bash League, where his experience and skill will be invaluable.

Conclusion: A career of excellence

Trent Boult's career is a remarkable story of dedication, skill, and success. With 317 Test wickets, 211 ODI wickets and 81 T20I wickets, Boult has etched his name among the legends of New Zealand cricket. As he transitions to the next phase of his career, his legacy as one of the finest bowlers of his generation remains secure. Boult's contributions to the Black Caps across formats have left an indelible mark and his journey continues to inspire future generations of cricketers.


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