Kolkata: New Zealand pace spearhead Trent Boult said he was looking forward to the World Test Championship final, which begins at the Ageas Bowl against India from June 18, as it will offer his team a chance to create history. Boult is set to arrive in England on Friday, having returned home to quarantine and spend time with family after the Indian Premier League’s suspension.
Speaking to the New Zealand media on Tuesday, their premier swing bowler said it was nice to be back in action against some local cricketers at the Bay Oval, which is close to his house. While the 31-year-old is going to miss the Kiwis’ first Test match against England at the Lord’s, which starts on Wednesday, he is fancying his chances to play in the second one as a build-up to the WTC final.
‘‘I am very excited as it’s a big final. The World Test Championship is a new concept with it’s points system and all, but I am really proud about the way this group has travelled all over the world. It will be a chance for the boys to create history,’’ he said.
Like the host of overseas cricketers who had to go through a harrowing time to return home from India, Boult’s story had been no different. Recalling his experience of playing the first part of the IPL in India in the middle of a raging pandemic, Boult said: ‘‘It was different this time. The hum you feel while going to the stadium was missing and it was very quiet with the frenetic fans not being there. I believe that the rest of the tournament is now moving to the UAE. We had a good time there last year.’’
Asked how he was looking forward to the England visit, Boult said: “Once I smell that English fresh air and see the (Dukes) ball move about, I’ll definitely be excited.”
New Zealand coach Gary Stead said Boult would likely be rested until the WTC final, with seamers Doug Bracewell and Jacob Duffy in reserve if needed for the second Test at Edgbaston.
“I don’t think you’ll see Trent in the two test matches here,” Stead said in London.
“Our planning and what we’re looking at doing with Trent is having him ready for the WTC final. He has had a week of bowling over there which has been great after the fair amount of isolation time at the end of the IPL.”
Till the IPL’s suspension to spend a few nights at home with his wife and two young children, Boult was facing about nine months on the road, but he chose to take it in his stride. “If you can keep busy and not let yourself get too deep in your thoughts and whine about things, then you find a way to get through,” he said.
“(We have) been very lucky to still be working in this current climate, so it’s the price you have to pay.”