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Williamson hints at uncertain T20I future after early World Cup exit

Following New Zealand’s unexpected group-stage exit from the T20 World Cup, captain Kane Williamson expressed the need for his team to regroup and recover, but he remained non-committal about the 2026 edition of the T20 showpiece.

Williamson has been a pivotal figure in New Zealand cricket for over a decade, leading his side through numerous successful campaigns. However, pcer Trent Boult having already announced his retirement from T20 World Cups, Williamson hinted at a possible changing of the guard within the team.

“Oh, I don’t know. There’s a bit of time between now and then, so it’s about regrouping as a side. We’ve got red-ball cricket over the next year basically, so it’s back into some other international formats, and we’ll see where things land,” said Williamson in the post-match press conference.

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Since his debut, Williamson has been instrumental in New Zealand reaching the semifinals in seven out of the ten World Cups he has played across both 20- and 50-over formats since 2011.

This remarkable journey included three final appearances, with standout personal performances such as being named Player of the Tournament in the 2019 World Cup in England and scoring an impressive 85 from 48 balls in the 2021 T20 World Cup final against Australia.

Reflecting on New Zealand’s recent campaign, Williamson admitted that his team had been slow to adapt to the challenging conditions in the Caribbean, where they faced strong performances from Afghanistan and the West Indies in a tough Group C.

“It took a long time to start and then, in a matter of days, we were not in contention, which was frustrating,” he said. “We played against a couple of very strong sides who are very well equipped in these conditions and unfortunately that was the difference in our first two games.”

Despite the disappointment, Williamson remained optimistic about the future. “All in all it’s frustrating, but there’ll be learnings for the players that come back to this part of the world. These conditions have been somewhat challenging, so they are some good experiences to have going forward.”

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