NZC announces national contract for 2020-21 Season
Auckland Aces fast bowler Kyle Jamieson, Central Stags spinner Ajaz Patel and Wellington Firebirds batsman Devon Conway have been awarded BLACKCAPS contracts for the first time, as part of a proposed 20-player list for the 2020-21 season. Under the terms of NZC’s Master Agreement with the New Zealand Cricket Players Association, the players have until May 22 to accept or decline the contracts, which will officially begin on August 1. The three new players have charted contrasting paths towards their first national contract. Jamieson entry onto the international stage this home summer with Player of the Match performances in his debut ODI and Test series against the highly-rated Indians. Jimmy Neesham, Will Young and Tom Blundell have all retained their contracts after being added to the list last season.
Ajaz Patel possesses a formidable first-class record and has been in the BLACKCAPS Test mix for the past 18 months, featuring most prominently away from home. Conway’s journey is perhaps the most remarkable. The 28-year-old, who’s had a phenomenal past two seasons topping the domestic batting charts, migrated from South Africa in 2017 and becomes eligible for national selection in August. Of the players centrally contracted during the previous year, Auckland batsmen Colin Munro and Jeet Raval have not received offers to renew the arrangement, along with Canterbury spinner Todd Astle who confirmed his retirement from red-ball cricket in January.
Selection manager Gavin Larsen said the three new players all have compelling cases for inclusion: it is really exciting to offer contracts to Kyle, Ajaz and Devon who have all impressed over the past 12 months. Kyle’s performances against the might of India were nothing short of outstanding and at 25 years of age he’s certainly got a big future. We see Ajaz as the incumbent Test spinner at present and he’ll be looking to stamp his mark on that spot after some strong efforts with the ball in the sub-continent. Devon’s form with the bat across all three formats these past two seasons made him impossible to ignore and he’s going to be a great option to add to the batting mix.
In compiling the list of offers, an NZC contract review group managed by GM High Performance Bryan Stronach, considered a range of factors including past performances, playing history, the playing schedule for the next twelve months and likelihood of players being involved during that period. As part of the formal contracting procedure, the NZCPA were consulted and expressed satisfaction the process, as outlined in the Master Agreement, was adhered to.
Players offered central contracts for 2020-21: Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, James Neesham, Ajaz Patel, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson, Will Young