Daniel Vettori [ Images ] officially ended his tenure as New Zealand's [ Images ] Test captain on Wednesday, though he will not relinquish the coin toss responsibilities completely until after the World Cup.
The 31-year-old Vettori had already said several times since he took on the captaincy from Stephen Fleming [ Images ] in Nov. 2007 that he would step down from the role after the 2011 World Cup, which runs from February 19-April 2.
"I made that decision three-and-a-half years ago and that's it," Vettori told reporters after New Zealand and Pakistan drew the second Test at the Basin Reserve, which allowed the visitors to win the two-match series 1-0.
"My timing was always to step away after the World Cup and that stays the same."
Vettori said he still wanted to continue playing Test cricket under a new leader. Ross Taylor [ Images ] is his likely successor having been his vice-captain in recent series.
"Test cricket is part of the game I love," Vettori added.
"I want to play it as long as I can and there are still things I want to achieve, there's no way that I want to finish with Test cricket."
Vettori refused to contemplate on how his tenure as Test captain would be judged, though he felt he had given it all when he captained the side.
New Zealand won six Test matches under the left-arm spinner, four against Bangladesh and one each against England [ Images ] and Pakistan, with 16 losses and 10 draws,
"There's always regrets, you always want to perform better, to do better, but its hard to say," he said.
"I suppose other people do those things (make judgements) for you. I can walk away from captaincy thinking that I gave it everything."
He did feel, however, the team was in good shape with a core of young, stroke-making batsmen coming through.
"To see just a whole new group of young guys come into the team," he added when pressed on what highlights there had been for him in his tenure.
"It's a vastly different squad than when I started captaining four years ago and I think there are some really talented players there.
"If we can get the most out of Taylor, (Jesse) Ryder and (Brendon) McCullum, ... (Martin) Guptill, (Kane) Williamson ... in the years to come with their ages ... I think there is an exciting team there.
"We still need to find fast bowlers coming in and you always want those guys who can penetrate as much as possible and if they come along it'll be great."