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Trent Boult bows out after 'last day' with New Zealand at T20 World Cup

Boult has represented New Zealand 62 times in T20 internationals
Boult has represented New Zealand 62 times in T20 internationalsAFP
Left-arm paceman Trent Boult (34) said he had played his "last day" of international cricket after New Zealand's disappointing T20 World Cup campaign ended with a seven-wicket win over Papua New Guinea in Trinidad on Monday.

Boult has been infrequently selected for international duty since being released from his New Zealand central contract in August 2022, allowing him to play in more domestic T20 leagues abroad.

But the renowned swing bowler did feature in New Zealand's 50-over World Cup campaign last year, where they reached the semi-finals only to suffer a 70-run defeat by tournament hosts India at a packed Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

By contrast, an impressive 13-year stint in international cricket appeared to have ended in the rather more downbeat setting of a 'dead' T20 World Cup game, with both New Zealand and non-Test nation Papua New Guinea both already having no chance of qualifying for the second round before they met in front of a sparse crowd at the Brian Lara Stadium.

"It feels a little bit weird, a few emotions obviously the last couple of days," said Boult, who took two wickets for 14 runs as PNG were skittled out for 78 in an innings where fellow quick Lockie Ferguson finished with a remarkable 3-0 from his maximum four overs.

Defeats by Afghanistan and tournament co-hosts the West Indies earlier in Group C had helped end the Black Caps' hopes of qualifying for the second-round Super Eights.

"Gutted to not go any further, but I'm very proud of what I've done with the Black Caps and sad it's my last day with New Zealand," said Boult.

'Great servant'

Boult's tally of 317 wickets in 78 Tests, is the fourth highest by any New Zealand bowler, with longstanding new-ball colleague Tim Southee (380 Test wickets) second only in the all-time national standings to the outstanding Richard Hadlee (431 wickets).

"I've shared a dressing room with Tim Southee for well over a dozen years. It's a partnership I've enjoyed forming, and we're very good friends off the field," he said.

Boult's last Test was against England at Headingley nearly two years ago, with the World Cup semi-final the most recent of 114 one-day internationals that yielded 211 wickets in total.

But pressed on whether the game against PNG - his 62nd T20 international - represented his final New Zealand appearance in all formats, Boult replied: "I haven't thought much further than this, I'm in no position to comment right now. I enjoyed being out there one last time."

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson paid tribute to Boult by saying he had been a "great servant of the game" who was "consistent in all formats".

The star batsman added: "It'll be sad to see him go, it's been quite special being with him throughout his career.

"He's got such an attitude for getting better. He trains very hard, he's as fit as he's ever been. He knows how he wants to operate in all formats. He sticks his chest out and performs well for his country."

"He's made a fantastic contribution to our game and he's created a space for new players to come in and meet the standard that he's set."

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