Cricket: Kane Williamson throws weight behind preserving tests as Twenty20 continues global growth

By his own admission, 2023 was an "interesting" year for Kane Williamson, and one he's hoping he can leave in the past.  

The Blackcaps' white ball captain suffered a ruptured ACL in April, and while he made an earlier than expected return for the 50-over World Cup, it's added to the hunger he has for the game.  

A game though, which has serious uncertainty over the future in its purest form.

Kane Williamson scored his 29th test century against Bangladesh.
Kane Williamson scored his 29th test century against Bangladesh. Photo credit: Getty Images

It's hard to believe but Williamson playing a Twenty20 International has been a rarity in recent times.  

Workload and a ruptured ACL means he hasn't played the shortest form of the game for New Zealand since November 2022.  

"It's nice to be back, and getting involved in the series," he said.   

"It was an interesting year. We spoke a few times about different things."  

At a time when the largest food group of the cricket diet is T20s, he's still hungry for the purest form of the game.  

"The tradition and the history that's connected to the format is special, and certainly worth preserving," he professed.  

But there are serious concerns around the world for the future of tests, heightened recently by South Africa choosing to send a weakened squad here, as they prioritise their domestic T20 league.  

Williamson, though, doesn't see it as symptomatic of wider problems within the game as a whole.   

"That's, from what I can gather, isolated and for the importance of cricket in South Africa."

But as they build towards the World Cup, this half of the year will largely be about T20s, starting tomorrow in the first of five against Pakistan.  

"Naturally, when you're building up to major events, the weight of cricket becomes that format."   

On a ground that tends to allow batters to feast, it could be ideal for someone who's barely played T20 cricket of late.