Kane Williamson is regarded as one of the best cricketers that New Zealand has produced. He is considered to be in the league of Martin Crowe, Stephen Fleming, and such great players. With a long career ahead, this Kiwi skipper has already batted his way to the top. He has made the fastest 6,000 runs in the traditional form of the game. Since he was born into a family in which playing sports was customary, his interest in cricket did not surprise many. Some of his interest in the game was definitely due to his genes, passed on to him by his father, who played under-17 cricket and club cricket in his days. He is a right-handed batsman and also plays as an occasional off-spin bowler. His play-by-the-book style was initially considered a shortcoming, but he soon emerged as the anchor for the team. Despite a shaky start in international cricket, Williamson has not only broken previous records but has also made some of his own. He is the youngest player from New Zealand to have scored a century to date. Observers believe that if he maintains his form and is consistent in his performance on the field, he could very well retire with the highest number of runs scored by any New Zealand batsman ever. Due to his calm but sharp demeanor on the field, he was an obvious choice for the captain’s post after former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum retired from international cricket.
Childhood & Early Life
Kane Williamson was born on August 8, 1990, to Sandra and Brett Williamson, in Tauranga, in the Bay of Plenty region of New Zealand. He was raised with three older sisters, Anna, Sophie, and Kylie, along with his twin brother, Logan.
Playing sports was considered a culture in the Williamson family. Brett Williamson played club cricket. Kane’s mother, Sandra, was a representative basketball player. All of Kane’s sisters played volleyball. After the twins came into the picture, Brett switched hats and turned into a cricket coach for them.
Williamson initially attended the ‘Pillans Point Primary School’ and then ‘Otumoetai Intermediate.’ He eventually graduated from ‘Tauranga Boys’ College.’ It seemed like the universe had conspired to put him at the right place at the right time, since the beginning of his life. ‘Pillans Point’ was not just an ordinary school. It was the only school in the area to run a cricket program and had nine in-house teams.
By the time Williamson turned 14, he was already playing representative cricket. He started playing first-class cricket when he was 16, for both the ‘Bay of Plenty’ and ‘Northern District’ senior teams, and won the ‘State Championship’ in 2007–2008. Before he even quit college, Williamson had managed to score a staggering number of 40 centuries.
At 17, he led the under-19 New Zealand cricket team to the 2008 ‘World Cup’ semifinals in Malaysia, where they lost to India.
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He finally stepped into the international arena in August 2010 but had a dismal one-day international (ODI) debut in Sri Lanka, in the tri-series tournament against India, where he was dismissed for a ninth-ball “duck.” The next innings brought no respite for Williamson, as he got dismissed for a second-ball “duck” against Sri Lanka. With two consecutive “ducks,” things looked grim for this 20-year-old rookie.
His fans did not have to stay disappointed for too long. Before the year ended, in October 2010, Williamson recovered from his previous setbacks by scoring his maiden century against Bangladesh in an ODI series, which otherwise was a total wreck for the Kiwis. That century secured his place in the Test squad the same year. He scored his first Test century against India a month later, in the presence of his idol, Sachin Tendulkar. With the 131 runs he scored in that Test match, he became the eighth player from New Zealand to have scored a century in a Test debut.
In 2012, a struggling New Zealand team saw two big efforts, both due to two great Test innings played by this young striker. Williamson made a massive score of 135 runs to secure a win for his side against the Sri Lankan team in Colombo. He also showed true grit against South African attacker Dale Steyn and scored an unbeaten 102 runs while chasing an overwhelming score of 389 runs.
In 2014, Williamson reached new heights in all formats of the game. In a rare out-of-home win for New Zealand, he scored 2 centuries in a 3-match Test series against West Indies. His series total of 413 runs made him the player of the series. The same year, he created a record partnership of 365 runs with BJ Watling, in a Test match against Sri Lanka.
In 2014, he scored a record 5 consecutive 50s in an ODI series against India and became the second person in the history of the game (after Pakistan’s Yasir Hameed) to have achieved this feat. He also became the fourth player from New Zealand to have scored 5 or more consecutive 50-plus scores in ODIs.
Just when the world thought he could not get any better, he kept setting records, one after the other. In 2015, he scored a record total of 2,633 runs in all formats and became the first-ever “Blackcap” batsman to score more than 2,000 runs in a year. It put him in the same league as legends such as Ricky Ponting and Kumar Sangakakara. He scored 5 Test centuries that year, the joint-highest with Steven Smith. The year started for him with an unbeaten 242 in Wellington. He scored centuries at ‘Lord’s’ and in Brisbane, Perth, and Hamilton.
Though the Kiwi side was not exceptional at the 2015 ‘World Cup,’ Williamson’s unbeaten 45 and his winning “sixer” against Australia at ‘Eden Park’ made everyone notice the rising star.
2016 brought the heavy responsibility of captaincy on his young shoulders, but his calm and composed personality, adept in handling pressure, made the transition look easier than it was. He continued to set records in the long form of the game. After his century against Zimbabwe that year, he became the youngest batsman to have scored a century against every Test-playing nation, and he did it within the least number of innings.
Williamson was signed by ‘Sunrisers Hyderabad’ for the 2015 ‘Indian Premier League’ (IPL). However, he played his first ‘IPL’ match in 2016. He was retained by the side for the next few years, and in 2018, he was appointed as the captain of ‘Sunrisers Hyderabad.’ He led the team to the finals, where they were defeated by ‘Chennai Super Kings.’
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He started playing English county cricket with ‘Gloucestershire’ in 2011. He signed with ‘Yorkshire’ in 2013 and returned in 2014 to win the ‘County Championship.’
He retains the captain’s hat for the Kiwis in the 2019 ‘World Cup.’
Awards & Achievements
He received the prestigious ‘Bayleys Real Estate Sportsman of the Year’ award at the ‘Bay of Plenty Sports Awards’ in 2015.
Kane reached the number one position on the ‘International Cricket Council’ (ICC) world Test rankings in 2015
In 2018, Williamson became the first player from New Zealand to have achieved more than 900 rating points in the ‘ICC’ Test rankings.
He was awarded the ‘Orange Cup’ for scoring the most runs in the 2018 ‘IPL’ season.
He is the world’s second-best batsman in 2019, just behind the current world number one, Indian skipper Virat Kohli.
Personal & Family Life
Williamson is in a steady relationship with his girlfriend, British-born nurse Sarah Raheem. Sarah is a ‘University of Bristol’ graduate.
Kane Williamson was born only a few minutes ahead of his twin brother, Logan.
This Kiwi skipper enjoys surfing. His love for solitude and treading through waves makes him visit the seas from time to time.
In 2014, Williamson donated thousands of dollars of match fees from the ODI series in Pakistan to the victims of the Peshawar terror attack that had killed 132 children.
He is a left-handed writer, although he is a right-handed player.