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Kane Williamson steps down as New Zealand white-ball captain and rejects national contract

Kane Williamson has turned down a new central contract and stepped down as captain of New Zealand's white-ball teams after a group stage exit at the T20 World Cup.

New Zealand's all-time leading Test run-scorer said he still planned to play international cricket but that "pursuing an overseas opportunity" meant he could not commit to a central contract.

Williamson's decision comes after New Zealand were knocked out in the group stage the T20 World Cup following defeats to West Indies and Afghanistan.

New Zealand Cricket said "very little" international cricket would be played at home during the January window, giving Williamson the opportunity to play elsewhere.

Players who accept central contracts must be available to play both for the Black Caps and in New Zealand's domestic Super Smash competition.

Williamson said on the New Zealand Cricket website: "Helping push the team forward across the formats is something I'm very passionate about and something I want to keep contributing towards.

"However, pursuing an overseas opportunity during the New Zealand summer means I'm unable to accept a central contract offer.

"Playing for New Zealand is something I treasure and my desire to give back to the team remains undiminished.

"My life outside cricket has changed, however. Spending more time with my family and enjoying experiences with them at home or abroad is something that's even more important to me."

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