New Zealand Cricket Board announces the central contracts for the 2016-17 season
The New Zealand Cricket Board has announced the list of 21 players who have been given the central contracts for the upcoming 2016-17 season with left-handed batsman Henry Nichols and all-rounder George Worker making the list for the first time. Compared to last year, this year’s list was extended to 21 players. Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi who impressed everyone with his performances in the ICC T20 World Cup 2016 and the hard-hitting southpaw Colin Munro were also given the contracts this year after they missed out last year.
Sodhi, Munro, Nicholls, and Worker replace the McCullum brothers, Brendon and Nathan, who recently retired and all-rounder Grant Elliott, who will only play in the Twenty20 format for the national side. As per the agreements made between the country’s cricket board and the New Zealand Cricket Players' Association, the players’ list was increased from 20 to 21 who have been given the contract which will run from 1st August 2016 to 31st July 2017.
Gavin Larsen, the former New Zealand cricketer, who is now the selector, shared his views about the players’ list, “We've built a strong group of core players over the past couple of years and that's been a key factor to the consistency of the team's performance.”
He added, “When we've brought new players into the group, we've been really happy with how they've adapted and performed on the international stage. Henry and George have made bright starts to their Black Caps careers and we look forward to watching their ongoing development.”
Sodhi and Munro who missed out on the contracts last year were back into the scheme of things based on their recent performances for the national side. Acknowledging their hard work, Larsen pointed out that the guys thoroughly deserved to be back on the list. He also sounded ecstatic about the prospect of Sodhi making his way back into the Test squad for the upcoming tour to Africa.
The Black Caps in their sojourn to the African countries are scheduled to play 2 Test matches each against Zimbabwe and South Africa. It will be interesting to see how the leggie fares in the longest format of the game after delivering some wonderful performances in the shorter ones.
Also after the retirement of the inspirational skipper Brendon McCullum, all eyes will be on his successor Kane Williamson who will lead the side in all the three formats.
List of contracted New Zealand players:
Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Martin Guptill, Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Mark Craig, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Ish Sodhi, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, George Worker .