Uncapped Young, Blundell and all-rounder Neesham added for NZ cricket contracts

New Zealand all-rounder Jimmy Neesham, wicketkeeper batsman Tom Blundell and opening batsman Will Young are the new names on the rundown of 20 players offered New Zealand Cricket (NZC) central contracts for 2019-20, the board reported on Thursday, 2 May.

Neesham has been included in the list after he rejected for the last contract where he missed out for the New Zealand squad. But after that, he made his return to the New Zealand side with a great performance in domestic cricket for Wellington. Since he came back to New Zealand’s ODI squad in January, he scored 204 runs at a strike-rate of 182.14 and asserted 10 wickets with an economy rate of 5.38 in just five innings.

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Will Young has received a New Zealand contract for the first time after impressing with the Central Stags and New Zealand A. He was called for the final test against Bangladesh after his good performances in domestic cricket. But the last test was cancelled following the Christchurch terror attack and Will’s international debut hadn’t happened.

Tom Blundell has handed the contract for the first time also alongside Will Young. Blundell, who is yet to make ODI debut for New Zealand, named in World Cup squad following the injury of first choice backup wicketkeeper Tim Seifert.

“Jimmy had a generally excellent season and gained great ground with Wellington, New Zealand A and the Blackcaps. He’s made each post a triumphant one,” selector Gavin Larsen said.

“Will gets an idea based on the sheer weight of runs he scored last season, both for New Zealand A and the Central Stags. Tom has gone about as a back-up for BJ Watling on the voyage through UAE, has as of late played for New Zealand A and is in the World Cup squad as the wicket-keeping substitute for Tom Latham. We see this idea as a solid demonstration of approval in his future,” he added.

17 players have been retained from the last contract. Fast bowler Adam Milne, all-rounder Corey Anderson and batsman George Worker were omitted from the contract and replaced by Jimmy Neesham, Will Young and Tom Blundell.

New Zealand Cricket central contract list 2019-20:

Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Mitchell Santner, , Colin de Grandhomme, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Colin Munro, Jeet Raval, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Ish Sodhi, Todd Astle, James Neesham , Will Young, Tom Blundell

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