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MS Dhoni’s CSK teammate finally rewarded with 1st Central Contract from New Zealand Cricket after World Cup heroics



MS Dhoni’s CSK teammate finally rewarded with 1st Central Contract from New Zealand Cricket after World Cup heroics

“Growing up you’d see those contract lists come out each year and think it would be cool to be on that list one day – and for it to eventuate now is a pinch-myself moment. It’s been a really cool past 12 months playing international cricket. I’ve learned a lot and the hunger is definitely there to keep improving and giving to the BLACKCAPS,” said Ravindra, as quoted by News 18.

“It’s such a special group to be in, from players to support staff – and that’s been the most enjoyable part, to be honest. Playing a game you love with your mates for a living is something very special, and I hold it close to my heart,” he added.


Ajaz Patel Makes a Comeback to Central Contracts


Left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel is back in the fold after missing out on a central contract last year. This timely selection comes ahead of a packed Test match schedule, featuring away tours to Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and India, followed by a three-match home series against England. Patel previously held central contracts in the 2020-21 and 2022-23 seasons. Joining the established names are some exciting prospects. Rachin Ravindra, Ben Sears, Will O’Rourke, and Jacob Duffy are all set to receive offers for the upcoming year’s International Playing Contract list. This quartet has impressed in domestic cricket.  For example, Ben Sears, who played alongside Ravindra in the 2016 Under-19 World Cup, already has experience with the national team, picking up 13 wickets in 11 T20Is during the 2023-24 season.


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One of the new faces, 26-year-old pace bowler Ben Sears, has already begun making a name for himself.  He debuted in a Test match against Australia in March, taking an impressive 4 wickets for 90 runs in the second innings.  Sears’ talent was further recognized by his inclusion as a traveling reserve for the New Zealand squad at the recent ICC T20 World Cup.


O’Rourke Earns Contract After Debut Season


Another exciting addition is Will O’Rourke.  This past year saw his international debut across all three cricket formats, solidifying his place on the national team and earning him a well-deserved central contract offer. There are also some notable changes among players who held contracts in the previous season.  Senior figures Kane Williamson, Lockie Ferguson, and Adam Milne have opted out of central contracts for the coming year.  However, Williamson has been offered a ‘casual playing contract’ by NZC, allowing him to participate in the upcoming home summer season outside of the January window.


ALSO READ: ‘Picking players that aren’t first-choice’: Michael Vaughan condemns Ben Stokes, Brendon McCullum for overlooking County Cricket talent


Departures from the Central Contract List


Veteran fast bowler Neil Wagner, who retired from international cricket in February, will no longer appear on the central contract list.  Additionally, Central Stags bowler Blair Tickner was not offered a central contract for the upcoming year.


Players offered central contracts for 2024-25:


Finn Allen, Tom Blundell, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Jacob Duffy, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Will O’Rourke, Ajaz Patel, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Ben Sears, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Will Young.



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