Cricket World Cup 2023: Trent Boult Eyes Title Glory After 2019 Final Heartbreak

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Tue 26 Sep 2023, 1:06 PM

Last updated: Tue 26 Sep 2023, 1:07 PM

After 12 months out of one-day international cricket, New Zealand seamer Trent Boult is relishing a third crack at the 50-overs World Cup after bitter defeats in the last two finals.

The 34-year-old is one of the world's best ODI bowlers, but spent the last year sidelined from the Black Caps after turning down a New Zealand Cricket contract to play for lucrative Twenty20 teams in Australia, the United States and India.

Putting his international career on hold to spend more time with his young family was a risk, but Boult is back in the frame for October's ODI World Cup after signing a casual-playing agreement with New Zealand cricket chiefs.

"I fully appreciated the fact that in giving my contract back, you open the door for other players," he said. "The decision was solely made around just being away from home a lot.

"Selection for the World Cup was never guaranteed. I had to work for it, so I am very happy to be here."

New Zealand are bidding to reach a third straight final, and Boult hopes the Black Caps can go far in India, "like we have in the last couple of attempts".

He has been on fire since his return to international cricket in early September, taking eight wickets in two ODI defeats to England.

"It was a good feeling chucking back on the black ODI kit," he said. "I can't wait for more."

Boult was a key part of New Zealand's run to the last two finals when they lost to Australia in 2015 at Melbourne, then England four years later at Lords.

"I've been very fortunate to play in a couple of World Cup finals and been on the wrong side of all of them," he said with a wry smile.

"It's a cliché, but you learn more when you fail than when you succeed. I feel like I'm a better cricketer for that experience."

His 22 wickets at the 2015 tournament was the joint highest alongside Australian speedster Mitchell Starc. They lost by seven wickets to hosts Australia in the final.

New Zealand cricket fans need no reminding of the 2019 final defeat to England, who they meet in their first game of this year's tournament.

With England struggling to make the final few runs, Boult accidentally trod on the boundary rope attempting to catch Ben Stokes, who went on to steer the hosts to victory in a dramatic Super Over.

"I didn't know where the boundary was, and that was a crucial mistake," Boult said of the blunder.

"It was a crazy game to be a part of," Boult added. "I try not to look back on it."

But he got a stark reminder when replays were screened in Southampton on Boult's first game back for the Black Caps earlier this month in the opening ODI against England.

"It's still a hard one to let go. What was probably a little bit harder was when I come back after a year to play for New Zealand and it's a rain delay and the only game playing on the screen at the ground (was the 2019 final), so that probably pushed me a little bit," he admitted.

There is no changing past finals, of course, so Boult has his eyes fixed on the future in the hope it will be third time lucky.

"I'm looking forward to hopefully get one more run and lifting the trophy in a couple of weeks time," he said. "That's the big focus for a lot of us."


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Khaleej Times

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