Kane Williamson being greedy? Harsha Bhogle highlights negative impact of franchise leagues, warns New Zealand

Published - 19 Jun 2024, 04:29 PM

Harsha Bhogle and Kane Williamson
Harsha Bhogle and Kane Williamson. Image Credits: X

Cricket commentator and expert Harsha Bhogle feels that New Zealand are going to have tough times ahead in terms of competing in bilateral cricket. Recently in a huge blow to New Zealand cricket, white-ball skipper Kane Williamson opted out of New Zealand's central contract for 2024-25.

It is believed that Williamson has taken this step in order to prolong his international career. Despite leaving the central contract, Williamson has committed to play for New Zealand in the future and also remained open to accept a contract further.

The 33-year-old top-order batter is likely to step down from his white-ball captaincy as well, which means New Zealand will have a new captain for ODIs and T20Is in the future.

Harsha Bhogle speaks on the ill effects of franchise-based leagues

Commentator Harsha Bhogle blamed the franchise-based leagues for Williamson's decision. Bhogle feels that New Zealand will struggle in the future in order to compete in the bilateral series because due to the rise of franchise-based leagues throughout the cricketing world.

"The greatest effect of franchise based leagues on a national team is being felt in New Zealand where Kane Williamson has turned down a central contract because he will be unavailable for portions of the NZ summer. That is a major event and further evidence that NZ will have to navigate through this reality in the near future. With Boult coming to the end, Southee almost there and Ferguson contemplating not having a central contract, they will need to make the most of their small pool to stay competitive in bilateral cricket," Harsha Bhogle tweeted on X (formerly Twitter).

Over the years, Williamson has emerged as the greatest batter that New Zealand has ever produced. He has scored over 8700 runs in Tests, which makes him the highest run-scorer for his country in the longest format of the game.

Overall, Kane Williamson has scored 18128 runs in international cricket so far and is second on the list of highest run-getters in international cricket for New Zealand, just 71 runs behind Ross Taylor.

This is not the first time when a New Zealand cricketer has opted out of the central contract. Some high-profile names like Trent Boult, Martin Guptill, and James Neesham had also opted out of the contracts earlier.

Lockie Ferguson likely to join Kane Williamson

It is also believed that fast bowler Lockie Ferguson will also be absent from the centrally contracted list to be announced next month. Ferguson has already given an indication that he won't be accepting a central contract.

New Zealand had a disappointing tournament in the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 as the team failed to make it past the first round. They have been one of the most consistent teams in the ICC tournaments over the past few years but failed to go into the Super Eight stage this time around.

With a number of players in their squad above the age of 30 and past their best, New Zealand cricket is going through a transition phase and will need some time to regain their ground.


ICC T20 World Cup Harsha Bhogle Kane Williamson New Zealand national cricket team Lockie Ferguson