Trent Boult is a near certainty to be selected for the Black Caps for the upcoming ODI World Cup in India, according to New Zealand Cricket boss David White.
Boult, granted a release from his central contract last year to spend more time with his family and freedom to play in lucrative global franchise leagues, went public overnight about his desire to represent his country again.
And in an interview with 1News, White, stepping down from his role after 11 years, confirmed Boult was an excellent chance to play at the World Cup in October and November.
“We’re having regular dialogue with Trent,” White said. “I’ve spoken to him personally as well. I think there’s a very strong likelihood that he’ll be playing in the World Cup and we’ve told him that all along.
“We’ve said to Trent all along that he doesn’t need to be centrally contracted to go to the World Cup so provided he’s fit I’m pretty sure that Trent will be playing.”
Boult has not played international cricket since the Black Caps’ T20 World Cup semifinal loss to Pakistan last November. His last Test was against England in Leeds in June last year.
Boult has said he was keen to play Tests again for New Zealand as it was his preferred format and that watching the Black Caps play England in a Test near his home in Mt Maunganui earlier this year was “bizarre”. However, that wish may not be as straightforward.
White said to protect the identity of the contracting system, those contracted players must be available during the domestic season.
“So to play in a Test match, ideally they’d be centrally contracted,” he said.
Boult revealed his wishes in an interview with ESPNcricinfo, saying: “I've been lucky enough to have a 13-year career in the Black Caps and hey, I've still got a big desire to play in the World Cup as well.
“We'll see how that unfolds: there's still a bit of movement in the landscape at the moment.
“I remember after the 2019 final [loss to England at Lord’s], I said to Kane [Williamson] that we've got to be there again, come 2023 in India. It's a shame with what's going on with his knee but he'll be working as hard as he can to try and get there. It's such a great tournament ... 100%, I've got that desire to be out there.
“We're a great one-day side. We've got some players that have travelled to India and experienced the conditions a lot, and that's what it comes down to in World Cups. You can't buy experience, and you can't replace players that have toured for however many years across these conditions.”
Boult has played 99 ODIs for the Black Caps, capturing 187 wickets with an average of 23.97 and career-best figures of 7-34.
The resumption of his ODI career would be hugely popular with a fanbase who watched as the Black Caps were beaten 4-1 in a recent series in Pakistan.