Rising stars receive Black Caps contracts as bowler axed

Publish Date
Friday, 14 May 2021, 9:10AM
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Canterbury all-rounder Daryl Mitchell and Auckland batsman Glenn Phillips have received first-time Black Caps contracts following breakout seasons in the international game.

The duo are the newcomers on the list of 20 players to be offered contracts.

Mitchell made his debut in one-day cricket against Bangladesh in March and achieved a maiden ODI century one match later with a pulsating unbeaten 100 in Wellington.

The 29-year-old also hit his first test century against Pakistan in January with 102.

The contract follows on from an immensely successful domestic summer for Mitchell as well, playing a key role in Canterbury's Ford Trophy and Plunket Shield wins.

For Phillips, despite making his Twenty20 international debut in 2017, the 24-year-old proved his worth as a perennial inclusion in the Black Caps side with a string of impressive performances, including a personal-best 108 against the West Indies last November as well as an unbeaten 58 against Bangladesh in March.

Phillips' century against the West Indies off 46 balls is a record for the fastest T20 ton in Black Caps history.

Long-time international wicketkeeper BJ Watling's decision to hang up the gloves for good means he has not been offered a contract, while spinner Ajaz Patel has been left off the list having after gaining his first a year ago.

Black Caps selector Gavin Larsen has praised the strength and depth of the 20-strong list.

"I'd like to congratulate all the players offered agreements for the coming season and in particular newcomers Daryl and Glenn. Receiving your first national contract is a great moment in any player's career and both thoroughly deserve their elevation.

"There's no question Daryl and Glenn took their games to another level over the summer and have added to the growing depth of talent we now enjoy.

"The Black Caps achieved unprecedented success, going through the season unbeaten for the first time ever and it was encouraging to see guys like Kyle Jamieson and Devon Conway performing so well after receiving their first contracts last year.

"After such a successful summer in which we used a variety of players across the three formats, there was always going to be a squeeze on for positions and, unfortunately, Ajaz has been a victim of that success.

"He missed the start of the test season with his calf injury and was unable to make it back into the side during a summer in which seam and swing dominated. However, we are well aware of Ajaz's value as a frontline spinner, particularly in overseas conditions and he's therefore still very much in our thinking."

Players have until May 22 to either accept or decline their offers as per New Zealand Cricket's Master Agreement with the New Zealand Cricket Players Association.

The first-round offers of the 96 men's domestic contracts by the six Major Associations will be confirmed by June 21.

New Zealand players offered national contracts for 2021-22:
Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, James Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson, Will Young.

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission