6 newcomers win New Zealand Cricket contracts
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Young allrounder Jimmy Neesham and former Australia wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi are among six newcomers on the list released Thursday of 20 players offered central contracts by New Zealand Cricket.
Spinners Ish Sodhi and Mark Craig, and pace bowlers Matt Henry and Adam Milne are also included on the list for the first time.
Players included on last year’s list who have not been offered contracts for 2014-15 include test openers Peter Fulton and Hamish Rutherford, spinner Bruce Martin, fast bowler Doug Bracewell, batsman Dean Brownlie and allrounder Grant Elliot.
A set criteria is used to rank players across all three forms of the game with test cricket receiving twice the weighting of one day and Twenty20 internationals.
Selection manager Bruce Edgar said New Zealand had a number of young players pushing for inclusion after its wins in its last three test series.
“We’ve had a very strong summer followed by the test series victory in the West Indies where a number of younger players put their hands up for consideration,” Edgar said.
Neesham scored centuries in each of the first two of the four tests he has played to date. Ronchi, who is New Zealand born, played limited overs cricket for Australia before fulfilling the residential requirements to play for New Zealand.
New Zealand contracted players: Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Mark Craig, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Brendon McCullum, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson.