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Tim Southee non-committal about future possibility of stepping away from his Black Caps contract


Staff member
Dec 16, 2021
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Third one-day international: Black Caps v India
Where: Hagley Oval, Christchurch. When: Wednesday, 2.30pm

Live coverage: Spark Sport, live updates on Stuff from 2pm

Black Caps veteran Tim Southee has played a straight bat to questions he could one day follow in the footsteps of new ball partner Trent Boult and step away from his national contract.

The topic has generated plenty of discussion to start the home summer with unwanted opener Martin Guptill last week becoming the third Black Cap to get a release from his contract in recent months.

Guptill, who will turn out for the Melbourne Renegades in Australias Big Bash, joins Boult, and Colin de Grandhomme, who were granted releases from their 2022-23 central contracts. Allrounder de Grandhomme has retired from international cricket.

Speaking ahead of Wednesdays ODI series finale against India at Hagley Oval, Southee was non-committal when asked whether he would contemplate doing similar in the future. New Zealand lead the series 1-0 with India needing to win to deny the hosts a series triumph.

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Rain ruined Sundays second ODI in Hamilton with just 12.5 overs possible and there could be more inclement weather in Christchurch. Showers, developing from afternoon, possibly heavy, are forecast by the MetService.

Southee has been a cornerstone for the Black Caps in all three forms since debuting as a 19-year-old in 2008. In Fridays opening ODI, which New Zealand won by seven wickets, he became the first bowler in the world to take 300 test, 200 ODI, and 100 T20I wickets.

Andrew Cornaga/Photosport
Tim Southee appeals unsuccessfully for an LBW against India's Shreyas Iyer in the first ODI in Auckland.

The 33-year-old is closer to the end of his international career than the start and might be faced with a similar dilemma to good friend Boult at some point.

There could come a day in the future where he decides to pursue opportunities in lucrative T20 leagues and spend more time with his young family.

I havent looked too far ahead, to be honest. Theres enough cricket to come in the coming months to worry about before having to look too far ahead, but its something all players are trying to stay with and think about in the moving landscape of the game, Southee said.

Youre contracted to New Zealand Cricket at the moment and Ive been back to the IPL (Indian Premier League) this year and well see what happens over the coming years, but its definitely changing the landscape of cricket to what it was two-three years ago.

Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images
Trent Boult, left, has stepped away from his national contract, could fellow Black Caps veteran Tim Southee, right, one day do the same?

With 15 years international service, New Zealand Cricket would unlikely stand in Southees way if he did indeed decide he wanted to one day be released from his contract.

For now though, Southee continues to play all three forms for his country, something he said he was eager to keep doing.

There had not been any plans to possibly shelve ODIs and focus on test cricket and T20s.

The body feels pretty good at the moment, so as long as you can still handle juggling all three and still being able to perform at the level you need to at this level. I love playing all three formats, so hopefully can do that for a wee while longer.

Southee has managed to dodge serious injury throughout his career, which he attributed to a bit of luck and the work of long-serving Black Caps' strength and conditioning coach Chris Donaldson.

Elite cricketers in New Zealand were fitter than they had ever been, Southee said, and the players put as much emphasis into their conditioning as they did their batting, bowling or fielding.

Southee has spoken before about the longevity of England test mainstays James Anderson and Stuart Broad and told Stuff last year age was only a number. As long as he was performing at a high standard and could justify his place in the squad, he was keen to keep carrying on internationally.

With opposition sides well aware of his strengths and weaknesses with the ball, he said it was a matter of continuing to evolve.

You have to keep looking at ways to get better. Having played for a while, you have experience on your side good experience, but also bad experiences, so just trying to stay with the times and trying to stay a step ahead.

Always looking at improving your game. Each time you turn up to training is an opportunity to walk away a better cricketer.

New Zealand have made one change to their squad for the third ODI with Jimmy Neesham, who didnt feature in the first two matches, excused from the squad as he prepares for his wedding.

Henry Nicholls, who last played an ODI against Ireland in July, replaces Neesham.

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