South African-born Devon Conway has been added to the New Zealand Cricket payroll before even playing an international match his form in the domestic circuit was ‘impossible to ignore’, chief selector Gavin Larsen said on Friday.
Along with Conway, all-rounder Kyle Jamieson who had a tremendous debut series against India and spinner Ajaz Patel earned their first contracts for the Black Caps squad. On the other hand, Colin Munro, Jeet Raval and Todd Astle have been dropped.
Conway, a left-handed batsman, has shattered the domestic batting charts across all three formats since migrating in 2017. With almost 1800 runs, the 28-year-old was the leading run-scorer in the 2019-20 season.
“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,” said Larsen as quoted by 1news.
“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 superb efforts with the ball in the sub-continent,” Larsen added.
All-rounder, Jimmy Neesham, Central Stags batsman Will Young and opener Tom Blundell have all successfully retained their contracts after they were added to the list in the previous season.
As per Stuff, the selectors rank players 1-20 on the grounds of their recent performances and the probability of them playing in the upcoming season. Tests are given a higher preference as compared to ODI and T20 cricket.
The top-ranked player gets an annual retainer of $243,000. Similarly, the No. 20 gets $103,000, excluding match fees. It is also expected that Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson, pacer Trent Boult, veteran Ross Taylor and top-swing bowler Tim Southee will remain in the top-four.
New Zealand contracted players for 2020-21 season:
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.