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James Neesham Dropped from New Zealand's List of Central Contracts

James Neesham is not the part of Test squad for India tour. (AP Image)

James Neesham is not the part of Test squad for India tour. (AP Image)

Neesham hasn’t played a Test for New Zealand since 2017, having featured in just nine T20Is over the last 12 months for New Zealand including the World Cup.

New Zealand cricket (nzc) announced their central contracts which saw Jimmy Neesham being axed from the 20-man list. Meanwhile, Michael Bracewell makes his debut. The list also saw the exclusion of legend Ross Taylor who retired from international cricket recently. Ajaz Patel also makes a comeback after missing out last year. Neesham, who has been a regular in the T20 and ODI Black Caps sides, is the major omission from the New Zealand top 20.

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“Finalising the list seems to get tougher by the year,” NZ head coach Gary Stead said.

“The busy international calendar means we’re calling on a wider base of talent these days and the likes of Michael Bracewell is testament to the depth of that talent.”

“Michael’s been consistently performing on the domestic circuit for seasons now and we certainly see him as an international prospect in all three formats.”

“It’s great to see Ajaz back on the list after narrowly missing out last season. His value as our leading red-ball spinner is clear and we’re excited to see the role he could play in the test team going forward.”

“I’d like to congratulate all 20 players who have received a national contract offer for the coming season and wish those heading away this winter all the best,” head coach Gary Stead said.

Neesham hasn’t played a Test for New Zealand since 2017, having featured in just nine T20Is over the last 12 months for New Zealand including the World Cup.

“He’s obviously disappointed. There’s no doubt about that,” Stead said of Neesham’s omission. “Jimmy’s lost a New Zealand contract but that doesn’t mean he’s lost a contract within New Zealand, so there’s still an opportunity to pick up a domestic contract and be available to play domestically.

“It also doesn’t mean Jimmy Neesham won’t play for New Zealand again. It’s the process of contracting, it’s not the process of selection.”

Players offered central contracts for 2022-23: Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson, Will Young.

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first published:May 13, 2022, 09:23 IST