Cricket: James Neesham, Will Young, Tom Blundell earn NZ Cricket contracts

James Neesham, Will Young and Tom Blundell.
James Neesham, Will Young and Tom Blundell. Photo credit: Photosport

James Neesham, Will Young and Tom Blundell are the new names on the list of 20 contracted players for the upcoming 2019/200 Blackcaps season.

Seventeen players have been retained from last year, with fast-bowler Adam Milne, batsman George Worker and all-rounder Corey Anderson dropping out.

Under the terms of New Zealand Cricket's Master Agreement with the New Zealand Cricket Players Association, the 20 players offered contracts have until May 9 to accept or decline the contract offers.

All-rounder Neesham, who was contracted between 2016-18, was not included in last year's muster, but receives an offer for the upcoming year after strong performances for Wellington, and the Blackcaps one-day side.

Batsman Young receives a central contract offer for the first time, after impressing with the Central Stags and New Zealand A, as does wicketkeeper Blundell, who played two tests and two T20s for New Zealand in 2017/18, and has been included in the ODI squad for the upcoming Cricket World Cup.

Selection manager Gavin Larsen said the trio had worked hard over the previous summer.

"James had a very good season and made excellent progress with Wellington, New Zealand A and the Blackcaps," said Larsen. "He’s made every post a winning one.

"Will receives an offer on the basis of the sheer weight of runs he scored last season, both for New Zealand A and the Central Stags.

"He would’ve received his first test cap in March, had it not been for the match being cancelled because of the Christchurch attack.

"Tom has acted as a back-up for BJ Watling on the tour of UAE, has recently played for New Zealand A and is in the World Cup squad as the wicketkeeping understudy for Tom Latham.

"We see this offer as a strong vote of confidence in his future."

Players offered central contracts for 2019/20: Todd Astle, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, James Neesham, Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson, Will Young.


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