New Zealand’s six Major Associations have today announced their first round of contracted male players for the 2023/24 Domestic summer including some key player movements across the country.
Major Associations can name up to 15 players in the first round of contract announcements, followed by a two-week official transfer window that allows uncontracted players the chance of assessing their options with another MA. Following this, each Major Association will name a further player to complete their 16-man contract list.
Contracted players receive a retainer and form the core of each Major Association’s campaigns across the Plunket Shield, Ford Trophy and Dream11 Super Smash, but uncontracted players typically also get chances to shine and impress in each region during the season.
Experienced wicketkeeper-batter Cam Fletcher returns to Auckland, his city of birth, after nearly a decade with Canterbury. Fletcher has toured with the BLACKCAPS and has been a regular NZ A representative in recent seasons and fills the space left by Ben Horne who announced his retirement last month.
Jack Boyle receives his first Central Districts contract after making the most of his opportunities last summer. Boyle impressed compiling 73* during a red-ball warm-up match for a New Zealand XI against Sri Lanka, then carried that form on by making a hundred on first-class debut for the Stags (having previously represented Canterbury).
Ajaz Patel returns to the Central Districts contract list after not receiving a BLACKCAPS contract for the 23/24 season.
Canterbury welcomes a diverse bowling pair departing Otago, in the form of quick Michael Rae and left-arm wrist spinner Michael Rippon.
Rae has been a vital mainstay for Otago’s bowling unit since 2014/15 picking up 210 wickets across formats.
Rippon made the move to Otago in 2016/17 picking up 212 wickets and scoring 3678 runs along the way, whilst also receiving international honours with the Netherlands and the BLACKCAPS. Even with the retirements of Todd Astle and Blake Coburn, Rippon joins an experienced Canterbury spin group featuring BLACKCAPS Ish Sodhi and Cole McConchie.
Otago have recruited former Firebird Luke Georgeson to the deep south. After four seasons in the capital, Georgeson will bring his ability to bat at the top of the order while providing useful overs of medium pace to Otago’s arsenal this season.
Emerging onto the domestic scene is seam bowler Harjot Johal who receives his first contract with Auckland after impressing through performances for Auckland A and in the wider Auckland development programs.
Will Clark receives his first full-season contract with Central Districts after joining the Stags as a contract replacement in the 22/23 season for Joey Field. The hard-hitting allrounder made his Plunket Shield debut in March 2022 and stepped-up last season featuring in all three formats for the Stags.
Wellington welcomes four new players to their contract list, including three young batsmen Muhammad Abbas, Gareth Severin, and Nick Greenwood, along with pace bowler James Hartshorn.
Abbas, who was a star of the NZ U19 National Tournament for Wellington had a remarkable rise last season, going from being a leading run scorer at the tournament to making his domestic debut and ending the season representing New Zealand A against Australia A in April.
Severin also burst onto the professional scene at the end of the 22/23 season, averaging 49 across three Plunket Shield matches, highlighted by an exceptional fourth-innings 196 against Northern Districts to help take his team within two runs of a remarkable victory.
Greenwood’s path to his first domestic contract is a unique one, building on a limited number of appearances for the Firebirds with strong performances with the bat for his Wellington club Taita, and international experience representing his island of birth, Jersey since 2019.
Hartshorn earns his maiden contract after first appearing for Wellington in 2020. The pace bowler has impressed the Firebirds coaching staff with his development and eagerness to learn.
Down south, Thorn Parkes has received his first domestic contract with Otago after making regular appearances throughout the Volts 22/23 Plunket Shield and Dream11 Super Smash campaigns. The batsman amassed 529 first-class runs last season, capped off by making his maiden first-class hundred in the Volt’s final match of the season.
Among the key transfers are the return of centrally contracted BLACKCAPS Finn Allen to Auckland after three seasons with the Wellington Firebirds, and Kyle Jamieson who heads back to Canterbury where he started his professional career after four seasons with the Aces.
2023/24 Domestic contracts | First round*
*Each team will complete their 16-man roster with second-round announcements on July 20
Adithya Ashok, Cole Briggs, Louis Delport, Danru Ferns, Cam Fletcher, Matt Gibson, Ryan Harrison, Harjot Johal, Simon Keene, Ben Lister, Robbie O’Donnell, Will O’Donnell, Sean Solia, Quinn Sunde, George Worker
Northern Districts (Dream11 Super Smash 22/23 winners)
Joe Carter, Katene Clarke, Kristian Clarke, Henry Cooper, Matthew Fisher, Zak Gibson, Brett Hampton, Scott Johnston, Scott Kuggeleijn, Bharat Popli, Tim Pringle, Jeet Raval, Tim Seifert, Fred Walker, Joe Walker
Central Districts (Plunket Shield and Ford Trophy 22/23 winners)
Jack Boyle, Doug Bracewell, Tom Bruce, Will Clark, Josh Clarkson, Dane Cleaver, Liam Dudding, Joey Field, Greg Hay, Jayden Lennox, Ajaz Patel, Brett Randell, Brad Schmulian, Ray Toole, Bayley Wiggins
Muhammad Abbas, Nick Greenwood, James Hartshorn, Troy Johnson, Nick Kelly, Callum McLachlan, Iain McPeake, Rachin Ravindra, Tim Robinson, Gareth Severin, Ben Sears, Michael Snedden, Nathan Smith, Peter Younghusband, Logan van Beek
Chad Bowes, Matt Boyle, Leo Carter, Sean Davey, Zak Foulkes, Mitch Hay, Cole McConchie, Angus McKenzie, Edward Nuttall, Ken McClure, Will O’Rourke, Michael Rae, Michael Rippon, Fraser Sheat, Henry Shipley
Matt Bacon, Max Chu, Jacob Cumming, Jacob Duffy, Dean Foxcroft, Luke Georgeson, Jake Gibson, Andrew Hazeldine, Llew Johnson, Ben Lockrose, Jarrod McKay, Travis Muller, Thorn Parkes, Dale Phillips, Hamish Rutherford
2023/24 BLACKCAPS Contract Offers:
Finn Allen (Auckland), Tom Blundell (Wellington), Michael Bracewell (Wellington), Mark Chapman (Auckland), Devon Conway (Wellington), Lockie Ferguson (Auckland), Matt Henry (Canterbury), Kyle Jamieson (Canterbury), Tom Latham (Canterbury), Adam Milne (Wellington), Daryl Mitchell (Canterbury), Henry Nicholls (Canterbury), Glenn Phillips (Otago), Mitchell Santner (Northern Districts), Ish Sodhi (Canterbury), Tim Southee (Northern Districts), Blair Tickner (Central Districts), Neil Wagner (Northern Districts), Kane Williamson (Northern Districts), Will Young (Central Districts)