Emotional Boult calls T20 World Cup exit his 'last day' for New Zealand

Bowing out? <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:New Zealand;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">New Zealand</a>'s players congratulate Trent Boult (C) after his dismissal of Papua New Guinea's Hiri Hiri during a T20 World Cup match in Trinidad (Marco BELLO)

Left-arm paceman Trent Boult said he had played his "last day" of international cricket after New Zealand's disappointing T20 World Cup campaign ended with a seven-wicket win over Papua New Guinea in Trinidad on Monday.

His 13-year stint in international cricket appeared to have ended in the downbeat setting of a 'dead' T20 World Cup game.

"It feels a little bit weird, a few emotions obviously the last couple of days," said Boult.

Pressed on whether the game represented his final New Zealand appearance, Boult added an element of doubt: "I haven't thought much further than this, I'm in no position to comment right now. I enjoyed being out there one last time."

Defeats by Afghanistan and tournament co-hosts the West Indies earlier in Group C had helped end the Black Caps' hopes of qualifying for the second-round Super Eights.

Papua New Guinea had also been eliminated before the match in front of a sparse crowd at the Brian Lara Stadium.

Boult took two wickets for 14 runs as PNG were skittled out for 78 in an innings where fellow quick Lockie Ferguson finished with a remarkable 3-0 from his maximum four overs but

"Gutted to not go any further, but I'm very proud of what I've done with the Black Caps and sad it's my last day with New Zealand," said Boult.

The 34-year-old has been infrequently selected for international duty since being released from his New Zealand central contract in August 2022, allowing him to play in more domestic T20 leagues abroad.

The swing bowler did feature in New Zealand's 50-over World Cup campaign last year, where they reached the semi-finals only to suffer a 70-run defeat by tournament hosts India at a packed Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

- 'Great servant' -

Boult's tally of 317 wickets in 78 Tests, is the fourth highest by any New Zealand bowler. Longstanding new-ball colleague Tim Southee (380 Test wickets) is second, behind Richard Hadlee (431 wickets).

"I've shared a dressing room with Tim Southee for well over a dozen years," said Boult, with the pair both involved when New Zealand beat India in the inaugural 2021 World Test Championship final. "It's a partnership I've enjoyed forming, and we're very good friends off the field."

Boult's last Test was against England at Headingley nearly two years ago, with the World Cup semi-final the most recent of 114 one-day internationals that yielded 211 wickets in total.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson paid tribute to Boult by saying he had been a "great servant of the game" who was "consistent in all formats".

The star batsman added: "It'll be sad to see him go, it's been quite special being with him throughout his career.

"He's got such an attitude for getting better. He trains very hard, he's as fit as he's ever been. He knows how he wants to operate in all formats. He sticks his chest out and performs well for his country."

"He's made a fantastic contribution to our game and he's created a space for new players to come in and meet the standard that he's set."