BLACKCAPS legspinner Ish Sodhi has shifted his allegiances from Northern Districts to Canterbury, beginning with the 2022/23 season.
A longtime ND rep, former South Aucklander Sodhi has been based in Christchurch with his wife and child for the past five years, but had continued to commute to Hamilton and beyond for ND home games to continue representing the Association that gave him his big break as a young spinner.
Said Sodhi after confirming the move this week, “It was a really tough decision, having been from the one Association for all my life.
"I leave with a heavy heart, but to be in position where I can be bold enough to make that decision speaks a lot of my development at ND.
“Family has played the biggest part [in the move south]. I've been down here for the past few years and my daughter is just about to turn two years old, so I just wanted to be home a bit more, and spend more time with the family.
Canterbury head coach Peter Fulton said he was excited to have one of the world’s best wrist spinners at his disposal for the upcoming season.
“Clearly, we are delighted to secure the services of Ish for the 2022/23 season and I'm really looking forward to working with Ish.
“I know Ish harbours ambitions to play Test cricket again, so hopefully a new challenge will be exactly what he needs to achieve that goal.”
Sodhi will be part of the wider Canterbury squad during the winter and in preseason training in the newly constructed, purpose built Sir Richard Hadlee Sports Centre behind Hagley Oval that opened this week.
“I just want to come in and contribute as much as I can to the environment,” said Sodhi.
Sodhi, 29, debuted for ND in all formats in 2012/13 and played 59 Plunket Shield matches, (210 wickets) 39 one-day Ford Trophy games (58 wickets) and 72 T20 matches (67 wickets) for the Association, twice helping lift the Dream11 Super Smash trophy, with ND the current title-holders.
Major Association player contract offers for 2022/23 have yet to be announced.