“We have made it very clear that priority is given to centrally-contracted players,” White told New Zealand radio station Newstalk ZB this week. “That was the case during the summer. It is very important for the integrity of the competition and of the contracting model that we give priority to our centrally-contracted players.”
White revealed that NZC had kept the communication open with Boult, hinting the seamer was likely to be on the flight to India for the World Cup.
“In saying that, we’ve had a lot of conversations with Trent over the last few weeks and months,” White said. “I’d be very surprised if he wasn’t representing New Zealand in the World Cup, and we’re having very positive conversations with him.”
Boult has not played international cricket since New Zealand’s T20 World Cup semi-final defeat to Pakistan in November 2022 and has not played a Test match in nearly a year
“It does not mean we have ruled Trent out from anything in the future,” Stead had said. “There will be ongoing discussion and we’re not sure what the landscape of the cricket world will look like in six months. It might change again.”
“Players still say that Test cricket and representing their country is the pinnacle. It would be fair to say that a lot of the players who are going into leagues are former [internationals], or [are] towards the end of their career”
‘Representing country still the pinnacle’
But White felt a lot of present-day cricketers still preferred representing their country over playing in franchise cricket.
“I think that the players still say that Test cricket and representing their country is still the pinnacle,” he said. “[With] the majority of the players, that is certainly the case. It would be fair to say that a lot of the players that are going into leagues are former [internationals], or [are] towards the end of their career. So I am not so concerned about that.
“The really positive thing about cricket compared to a lot of other sports is that it’s being bankrolled primarily by India, which is now the most populated country in the world. There are huge resources and a lot of revenue, which is good for cricket. So it’s just important that New Zealand Cricket ensures that we stay relevant. That way we influence the international game at the ICC level, and we can compete at the highest level.
“I think over the next year or two, there’ll be a little bit more certainty about where that goes. But the international game is strong. I think we are very well-positioned, and I’m very proud of what we have achieved over my tenure.”