Colin Munro latest to ditch red-ball contract
What's the story?
New Zealand all-rounder Colin Munro has joined the growing list of international cricketers to opt out of a red-ball contract with his home board, citing his fading interest in the longest format.
"It would be fair to say that my focus hasn't been on four-day cricket this season and my passion for that format of the game isn't what it once was," Munro said. "I'm still 100% committed to playing for the Blackcaps and Auckland Aces in the shorter formats and have some big goals I'd like to achieve in the next couple of years.”
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Last year, Munro's fellow countrymate Mitchell McClenaghan had completely omitted himself from accepting any contract from New Zealand Cricket (NZC) in order to enjoy playing as a T20 freelancer across the globe, though Munro has expressed that he will continue committing himself to the limited-overs games which New Zealand play in the future.
This February, England's Alex Hales and Adil Rashid had also taken up only white-ball deals from their respective county sides for the upcoming domestic English season, revealing that their focus would remain on List-A and T20 cricket but not first-class matches. Before that, their teammate David Willey had also pondered on the possibility of playing only as a limited-overs cricketer for England.
The heart of the matter
Munro has played only a single Test for New Zealand so far – that came as far back as in January 2013 on the tour of South Africa – and said he had had discussions with his former captain Brendon McCullum before arriving at the conclusion of prioritising limited-overs cricket, eyeing the 2019 World Cup instead.
"Obviously with the World Cup next year I'd love to give myself the best chance of making that squad and that's where my main focus is.”
“I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to play more Test cricket in that time but you look at the guys who have come and made a real go of it. I've given a fair crack to first-class cricket and now it's a change of focus, I want to be part of that World Cup squad,” said the 30-year-old all-rounder.
It is nothing but unfortunate to witness so many modern stars fall prey to the limited-overs extravaganza and put behind the purest form of the game, with luring contracts from the world over mesmerizing them into franchise-based T20 leagues. The aspiring, young cricketers of the next generation run the risk of following suit, meaning further declining interest in Test matches.