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New Zealand Cricket has agreed to release Trent Boult from his central contract after the fast bowler requested to spend more time with his family and to make himself available for T20 leagues. His international career is now likely to be "significantly reduced".
Boult, 33, had held several conversations with NZC prior to Wednesday's announcement. The move could have huge ramifications for New Zealand given the proliferation of T20 leagues that are popping up within the time period of their summer domestic season.
An announcement is expected soon about Boult's involvement in one of the new T20 leagues in either the UAE or South Africa, but NZC chief executive David White told ESPNcricinfo that he was still "highly likely" to be selected for the T20 World Cup in Australia, with planning well advanced for that competition. He will also complete the ongoing tour of West Indies.
NZC released a statement explaining that Boult had made it clear to White that his appetite for touring had diminished and he wished to spend more time with his family.
"This has been a really tough decision for me and I'd like to thank NZC for their support in getting to this point," Boult said. "Playing cricket for my country was a childhood dream and I'm so proud of everything I've been able to achieve with the Black Caps over the past 12 years.
"Ultimately this decision is about my wife Gert and our three young boys. Family has always been the biggest motivator for me and I feel comfortable with putting it first and preparing ourselves for life after cricket."
Boult has not retired from international cricket but he is likely to play a lot less for New Zealand. White confirmed that Boult was aware of the ramifications of his decision and that NZC would prioritise contracted players.
"We've had several conversations and I know Trent understands that, in terms of selection, NZC will continue to make a priority of those players with either central or domestic contracts," White said.
Boult understood that his decision would affect his selection for New Zealand.
"I still have a big desire to represent my country and feel I have the skills to deliver at the international level," he said. "However, I respect the fact that not having a national contract will affect my chances of selection.
"Having said that, as a fast bowler I know I have a limited career span, and I feel the time is right to move into this next phase."
White said he was sad to be losing Boult as a centrally contracted player but understood his decision.
"We respect Trent's position," White said. "He's been completely honest and up-front with us about his reasoning and, while we're sad to be losing him as a fully-contracted player, he leaves with our best wishes and our sincere thanks.
"Trent's made a massive contribution to the Black Caps since his Test debut in late 2011 and is now considered one of the best multi-format cricketers in the world. We're very proud of what he's achieved."
Earlier this year, Boult went straight from the IPL into the Test series against England. He played 16 games for Rajasthan Royals, including the final in Ahmedabad on May 29, before playing in the Test match at Lord's just five days later on June 2 where he bowled nearly 38 overs. However, he was then rested from New Zealand's limited-overs tours around Europe.
Boult has represented New Zealand 215 times across all three formats after debuting against Australia in the famous 2011 Test victory in Hobart. He is one of only four men to have taken 300 Test wickets for New Zealand, having taken 317 scalps at 27.49 with 10 five-wicket hauls and one ten-for. He also has 169 ODI wickets and 62 in T20Is. He is currently the No.1 ranked ODI bowler in the world and is ranked 11th on the Test rankings.