Cricket: Blackcaps' Trent Boult signs on to join UAE's Twenty20 league after giving up NZ contract

Blackcaps fast bowler Trent Boult has signed on for the new UAE-based International League T20 (ILT20), joining the Mumbai Indians' Emirates side.

On Wednesday, Boult, 33, was released from his NZ Cricket contract to spend more time with his young family.

Trent Boult.
Trent Boult. Photo credit: Image - Getty Images

For now, Boult's future with the Blackcaps is unclear, as NZ Cricket chief executive David White confirmed selection priority will remain with contracted players, with the left-armer to take a reduced role going forward.

In the first sign of his playing future, Boult has been confirmed as one of the first signings for Mumbai Indians Emirates - the sister team of the Mumbai Indians IPL franchise.

Boult is currently contracted to Mumbai's rivals Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, but played for the Indians in 2020 and 2021.

Of the six sides to take part in the first edition of the new ILT20, four are currently owned by IPL counterparts. 

The move comes after all six franchises in the upcoming South African T20 league were also purchased by IPL sides, before its first edition in early 2023.

And with Mumbai also owning a side in South Africa's new league, Boult could also sign on to play for the Cape Town side, with its dates yet to be confirmed. 

The first edition of the ILT20 runs from January 6 to February 12, 2023, coinciding with a gap in the Blackcaps international schedule.

However, with the home test series against England beginning on February 16, Boult would be an unlikely selection, given his lack of a central contract and match fitness in red-ball cricket.

Boult joins West Indians Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran and Andre Fletcher, South Africa's Imran Tahir, and England's Samit Patel, Will Smeed and Jordan Thompson among the 14 overseas players at his new team - with up to nine foreigners permitted in each matchday squad.