NZ Cricket handed central contracts to 20 players including Jimmy Neesham, Tom Blundell & Will Young

NZ Cricket handed central contracts to 20 players including Jimmy Neesham, Tom Blundell & Will Young

The troika to replace Adam Milne, Corey Anderson and George Worker also Tim Seifert was omitted due to his injury.

James Neesham
James Neesham. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

New Zealand, on Thursday, announced their list of centrally contracted players. New Zealand Cricket has offered the contracts to 20 players for the 2019-20 season. Jimmy Neesham, Tom Blundell and Will Young are the new inclusion in the list, replacing Adam Milne, Corey Anderson and George Worker. A notable omission from the list is Tim Seifert after he missed out on the World Cup spot. Seifert had suffered a late injury, forcing New Zealand to call up Blundell for the World Cup.

Neesham returns to the list after missing out in 2018-19. The all-rounder recently impressed for the Black Caps in New Zealand and for Wellington in a domestic arena which eventually paved the way for his international return. Young, who is not a part of the World Cup squad, was set to make his Test debut against Bangladesh before the final Test was called off. On the other hand, Milne and Anderson struggled with injuries which hurt their World Cup chances and eventually saw them being ignored.

Last year, Milne returned to the New Zealand side for the Pakistan T20Is briefly but managed just four games thereafter. He also pulled out of the ongoing IPL due to injury. Anderson had also played the T20Is against Pakistan and was focusing on white-ball cricket only in order to strengthen his World Cup claim but missed out. His recent shoulder injury only made things worse for him.

Selector explains new addition

New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen explained the reason behind adding Neesham and Blundell in the 20-man list.

“Jimmy had a very good season and made excellent progress with Wellington, New Zealand A and the Blackcaps. He’s made every post a winning one,” Larsen said.  “Will receives an offer on the basis of the sheer weight of runs he scored last season, both for New Zealand A and the Central Stags.

“Tom has acted as a back-up for BJ Watling on the tour of UAE, has recently played for New Zealand A and is in the World Cup squad as the wicket-keeping understudy for Tom Latham. We see this offer as a strong vote of confidence in his future,” he added.

Players offered central contracts by New Zealand

Todd Astle, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, James Neesham, Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson, Will Young.