On Thursday, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) named the 20 players who were handed over the central contracts for the 2021-22 season.
Two new faces, namely Canterbury all-rounder Daryl Mitchell and Auckland Aces batsman Glenn Phillips were offered a contract for the first time.
While Mitchell smashed his maiden Test and ODI tons and appeared in all three formats, Phillips thrashed West Indies to score his first T20 hundred that came in only 46 deliveries– the fastest ever in a T20 by a Black Caps’ cricketer.
On the other hand, Test specialist Ajaz Patel and wicket-keeper batter BJ Watling have been excluded from the list.
Though Patel was awarded the contract for the first time last year, he was left out of the Pakistan Tests in December 2020 due to a lack of game-time. The left spinner had earlier recuperated from a calf injury.
Watling was excluded as he recently announced his decision to hang his boots after the World Test Championship (WTC) final.
New Zealand selector Gavin Larson congratulated all the cricketers who had earned their contracts and, in particular, mentioned Mitchell and Phillips for making it to the 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,” the former New Zealand cricketer stated in an official press release on Friday.
Larson further asserted that the newcomers had taken their games to another level and thoroughly deserved a place in the central contract roster.
“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 enjoy,” Larson added.
NZ contracts list (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.