At last, after the 84 days captaincy carry-on, coaches coming and going, and a re-jigged selection panel we have the latest edition of NZ cricket’s contracted players.
This list was always going to be a confused looking one given the various comings and goings, and it doesn’t disappoint in that regard. Player by player here we go.
Hamish Bennett – Fair enough; the ongoing search for genuine pace bowlers continues. NZC are taking a bit of a risk with regards to contracting a player with an injury record like that though.
Trent Boult – An interesting one this. Still very green, but his contract ahead of Arnel shows a bit of intent.
Neil Broom – Pretty lucky. But they’ve always liked Neil Broom
Daniel Flynn – This is where the contract system works. Was dropped from the list a year ago, and told where he had to work on his game. And he did. Sets the blueprint for Tim McIntosh this season. Will help pay those dental bills.
Martin Guptill – An obvious choice. Still, the jury is out on whether he deserves a place in the SKY Multi Room House.
Chris Martin – Once more unto the breach…
Brendon McCullum – Lets hope he’s part of the top tier. It’ll be really interesting to see how he bounces back this season. Because he will bounce back.
Nathan McCullum – With Vettori’s break from Limited Overs cricket, McCullum the elder is now a certainty for that form of the game. Likely to reach 100 ODIs before he plays a test though.
Andy McKay – See Hamish Bennett.
Kyle Mills – Mills. Contract time. Was never going to miss out. But given that he appears to have given up on playing test cricket again he might be a fraction lucky.
Rob Nicol – Attn Talkback callers. You’ve got your man; you can shut up now.
Jacob Oram – Of course. James Franklin might have cause to feel hard done by when reading that name when you think about their respective contributions over the last 12 months.
Jesse Ryder – News of the change to ban runners by the ICC might have an effect on which tier he ends up being on.
Tim Southee – NZ’s most improved over the last year. Must be close to a top bracket by now.
Ross Taylor – He’s captain now in case you had forgotten.
Daniel Vettori – This will be a really interesting season. It’s a gutsy decision to take a break from the forms of the game where he performs best. Thirty-something cricketers all round the world will we watching this closely.
BJ Watling – Still not quite there yet. Still, a better bet that Jamie How
Kane Williamson – Perhaps a little lucky last year, but he’s a fixture now and will have ranked highly.
Luke Woodcock – Yes, you read that right. But don’t blame the selectors. Blame the dominance of the forms of the game that reward bit-part players. Just look at the Australian contracts list. He owes Vettori a beer for taking that break from ODIs
Reece Young – Good work Young. Hopkins had a lot of chances over a lot of seasons. Young took his chances.