‘Freelancer’ Trent Boult ready for T20 World Cup with New Zealand

Boult, busy with international commitments and franchise leagues since August last year, has been far away from home and is ‘dying to see’ his three young boys.

Published : Apr 08, 2024 15:33 IST , JAIPUR - 4 MINS READ

Rajasthan Royals player Trent Boult during an interview for Sportstar in Jaipur.
Rajasthan Royals player Trent Boult during an interview for Sportstar in Jaipur. | Photo Credit: R V Moorthy/The Hindu

Rajasthan Royals player Trent Boult during an interview for Sportstar in Jaipur. | Photo Credit: R V Moorthy/The Hindu

When Trent Boult decided to move away from his central contract with New Zealand Cricket a couple of years ago, he thought it would allow him to spend more time with his family.

But international commitments and franchise leagues have kept him busy since August last year. He has been far away from home and is ‘dying to see’ his three young boys.

Boult, however, will have to wait till August. Currently busy featuring in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Rajasthan Royals, the 34-year-old will travel to the US and West Indies in June for the T20 World Cup with New Zealand before participating in Major Cricket League.

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While it is quite a challenge to maintain the workload and play non-stop cricket, Boult wants to continue as he still ‘loves and enjoys’ bowling with the new ball and tries to dismiss the best cricketers in the world.

“As long as I have that feeling, I will be pushing for as long as I can,” Boult tells  Sportstar, adding, “So, there’s no real long term plans at this stage…”

Boult has been Rajasthan Royals’ fast bowling spearhead and has claimed five wickets so far in the ongoing IPL. While he does not look at himself as a ‘bowling captain’ of the franchise, Boult enjoys his conversations with fellow fast bowlers - Sandeep Sharma, Avesh Khan and Nandre Burger.

“I always try to come into these tournaments with an open mind of trying to get better, trying to learn and answer any questions from fellow bowlers,” Boult says with a smile.

“This year, it has been exciting. We have got a find in Mr. Burger (Nandre) as we call him and he has been backed up nicely by Avesh Khan, who I have played with before, and the spin bowlers (R. Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal) need no introduction. So, there’s a nice balance…”

Boult has been freelancing with the New Zealand team since 2022 and featured in the T20 World Cup that year and also returned to play for the national team right ahead of the ODI World Cup last year. And as another ICC event beckons, Boult is gearing up for the challenge.

Being a seasoned campaigner, he understands the importance of staying fit for a near-two-month long tournament. “There are no shortcuts,” he says. “I enjoy hitting the gym. I enjoy marking out the cones, doing the running and I love bowling, so that’s why it has never been so much of a chore for me,” Boult adds.

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Ever since featuring in franchise leagues around the world, Boult has realised that one needs to ‘move with the times’.

“I think you can’t be complacent and just come to the table with delivering the same plan every time. I spent a lot of time with DJ (Dwayne) Bravo over the last couple of years and I think he’s an inspiration for taking his game to the next level,” Boult says.

“He has adapted to his game around the world and he’s played 600 T20s for that reason and he has still got it. So, for me, it’s about taking the learnings from the likes of those guys and just trying to be better every game…”

Despite being one of the top contenders, New Zealand has failed to break its knockout jinx in an ICC event and this time around, Boult is looking forward to the challenge.

“I have always thought we (New Zealand) have got such a successful record in ICC events and that comes down to the fact that it turns out to be very simple equations like winning a game to reach the semifinals or the final. And, in those situations, I think New Zealand plays their best cricket. They are a very well-planned side. They are a side that’s equipped with some of the best players in the world and definitely, punch for punch, can take on any team when it comes to that,” Boult said.

“We are not looking too far in the T20 World Cup. It’s a long tournament. There will be 20 sides and there are some lesser nations that are yet to be in their 100 per cent, but there are some quality teams as well. So, it needs a lot of hard work and when it comes to those must-win games, I think New Zealand can go against any of the teams in the world, so we look forward to that challenge,” he added.

New Zealand begins its campaign against Afghanistan at the Providence Stadium on June 8.

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