Cricket: Kane Williamson stands down as test captain of Blackcaps, Tim Southee named successor

Former Blackcaps test captain Kane Williamson.
Former Blackcaps test captain Kane Williamson. Photo credit: Photosport

Blackcaps talisman Kane Williamson won't have the 'C' next to his name, when the squad to tour Pakistan is named on Thursday.

Williamson, 32, will relinquish his captaincy, with veteran bowler Tim Southee to step up as his successor for the two-test trip. Tom Latham has been named vice-captain.

Under Williamson, New Zealand have ascended to heights they never have before, highlighted by winning the inaugural World Test Championship against India last year.

The top-order batter has a 55 percent winning record from his 40 test matches in charge - 22 wins, 10 losses, eight draws - since replacing Brendon McCullum in 2016.

Blackcaps coach Gary Stead has praised Williamson for his tenure as test captain.

"Kane's guided the test team through an immensely successful period, which is testament to his ability to bring people together and work towards a common goal," he said.

"He's certainly led from the front with his own performances and that was very much the case during our push to win the World Test Championship.

"The test team has continued to evolve and develop during this time, and the fact we've been able to introduce new players and see them thrive almost instantly is a credit to Kane and his leadership.

"We hope, by lessening his workload, we can continue to see the best of Kane Williamson for longer on the international stage and we know he will remain a key leader in this group."

Southee, the current Sir Richard Hadlee Medal winner, admits it's humbling to be asked to lead the test side.

"It's been a surreal few days and it's a massive honour to be appointed as test captain.

"I love test cricket, it's the ultimate challenge and I'm really excited by the opportunity to lead the team in this format.

"Kane's been an outstanding test captain and I'm looking forward to working with Gary on how we can build on that."