New Zealand signs 20 players to national contracts

Wellington: New Zealand Cricket has named six newcomers on its annual list of 20 contracted players as national coach Mike Hesson attempts to refresh a team plagued by under-performance.

Promising all-rounder Corey Anderson, test opening batsman Hamish Rutherford, fast bowler Mitchell McLenaghan, the versatile Tom Latham and Colin Munro and veteran left-arm spinner Bruce Martin have all been included for the first time on the list of players who will be paid retainers.

 New Zealand signs 20 players to national contracts

Corey Anderson bowls against England during their International Twenty20 cricket match at the Oval cricket ground in London last month. AP

South African-born all-rounder Grant Elliott has returned to the list after missing out last season while test opener Peter Fulton regains a place for the first time since 2009.

Players on last year's list who have been dropped include former captain Daniel Vettori, who declined a contract because of injury, and fast bowler Chris Martin, who has retired.

Test batsman Daniel Flynn, wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk and one-day specialists James Franklin and Rob Nicol have also missed out. Contracts are awarded to players who score most highly on a weighting scale which measures performances in tests, one-dayers and Twenty20 matches, placing most emphasis on tests.

"We believe that the 20 players selected will provide the most value to the Black Caps over what is an exciting period for the team," Hesson said. "There's plenty of cricket to be played over the next 12 months, with series against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, West Indies, India and the ICC World Twenty20.

"With nine changes from last years contracted list, it's evident that competition for places is high.

"There's still a strong core of experienced players who have been a part of the team's progression over recent months. Some of the younger players such as Corey Anderson and Hamish Rutherford have also demanded a spot, after making strong starts to their international careers."

New Zealand lost its most recent test series against England in England but won the one-day and Twenty20 series on that tour. It then failed to reach the semifinals of the Champions Trophy one-day series after winning only one game in the preliminary round.

New Zealand contracted players: Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Dean Brownlie, Grant Elliott, Peter Fulton, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Bruce Martin, Mitchell McClenaghan, Brendon McCullum, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Colin Munro, Hamish Rutherford, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson.

Updated Date: Jul 08, 2013 11:40:19 IST