Canterbury allrounder Todd Astle has been offered a BLACKCAPS contract for the first time, as part of the 20 to be given for the 2018-19 contract year.
While a new Master Agreement between NZC and the New Zealand Cricket Players Association has yet to be finalised, an agreement has been reached to allow the contracting process to take place in a timely fashion.
As in previous years, a set criteria is used to rank players across all three forms of the game, with Tests receiving twice the weighting of One Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals.
The number of contracts has decreased by one from the 21 given last year, with Astle the only new player in this year’s offered list. Jimmy Neesham and Neil Broom are the two players from last year’s list not to be offered a contract.
BLACKCAPS Selector Gavin Larsen said Astle certainly featured in the selectors' plans for the next 12 months.
“Todd’s progress over the past 12 months has been exciting to see. When fit, he made the most of his opportunities in both Test and ODI cricket,” said Larsen.
“We have a big summer ahead; we know Todd performs well in New Zealand conditions, and we also have a spin-friendly tour against Pakistan coming up.
"Between Todd, Ish and Mitchell our spin bowling stocks have probably never looked better.”
Larsen said there were some tough calls, but the door remained open for those who missed out.
“Jimmy and Neil didn’t show the consistency required over the past year and we’d like to see them go back and demand our attention again through domestic performance.
“We’ll continue to monitor the progress of a number of fringe players, who will have the chance to continue to push their case through the NZA programme and home domestic season.”
Accepted contacts will come into effect from 1 August 2018.
2018-19 offered BLACKCAPS contracts:
Corey Anderson, Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson, George Worker.
2017-18 BLACKCAPS contracts:
Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Neil Broom, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, James Neesham, Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson, George Worker.