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In a bid to make a national comeback, Jimmy Neesham leaves Otago and joins Wellington Firebirds

He was one of the major omissions when NZC announced the central contracts earlier this month.

James Neesham
Jimmy Neesham of New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

New Zealand all-rounder Jimmy Neesham has joined Wellington Firebirds for the upcoming domestic season. He left Otago after a long period of 7 years with the team and is looking for a fresh start after losing the annual contract earlier this month. He was also reportedly in talks with Auckland but finally decided to join Wellington courtesy of his good relations with their coach Bruce Edgar. However, Neesham is determined to show his skills as an all-rounder this season and earn his place back in the national side.

Neesham last played for the Kiwis in the 50-over format against Bangladesh in June in Cardiff during the Champions Trophy. He has been in and out of the side so often and has not been able to nail down his place in the squad with consistent performances. At the age of 27, it will be crucial for him to play his best cricket and resurrect his international career.

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Time to peak

Jimmy Neesham cited his good relationship with the coach of Wellington, Bruce Edgar as one of the reasons to sign a contract with them and also felt that it is the right time for him to peak as an all-rounder.

“Me and Bruce always had a good relationship from back when he was a national selector. When he knew I was looking at other opportunities, he had a good chat with me about Wellington. I liked the look of the setup and I flew down to meet a few of the lads, and it seems like it will be a great fit for me. I’m 27, I’m reaching the time when an all-rounder comes into his peak. This is a good chance to show it,” he was quoted as saying by stuff.co.nz.

Wellington confirms the signing

Cricket Wellington also confirmed the signing of the 27-year-old cricketer with Bruce speaking highly of Neesham. He termed him as a quality player and felt that he would an asset for his squad this season. “Jimmy is a quality player who will add a lot to our middle order with the bat and complement a pace attack who have done pretty well in recent seasons. We think that will make him an asset to our squad and he’s been very clear that a return to the national side is part of his focus and a strong incentive to contribute to the Firebirds this coming summer,” he said.

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