Wellington: Batsmen Jeet Raval and Neil Broom and all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme have been included for the first time on New Zealand Cricket’s list of contracted players for the 2017-2018 season.
Fast bowler Doug Bracewell, off-spinner Mark Craig and recently-retired wicketkeeper-batsman Luke Ronchi are omitted after being included on the previous list. Veteran off-spinner Jeetan Patel, who was not contracted last season, has also announced his retirement from international cricket.
Bracewell seriously injured his knee in December which prevented him playing for the rest of the season. He was also recently convicted for the third time of driving under the influence of alcohol, though New Zealand Cricket said that had no bearing on his omission from the new contract list which it announced today.
Craig has also had injuries in recent seasons which have made it difficult for him to gain a regular place in the New Zealand team.
Raval made a strong start to his international career last season, making a half-century on debut against Pakistan.
He now has five half-centuries in seven Test matches, including scores of 80 and 88 in his most recent tests against South Africa.
Broom made his Test debut against South Africa in November, aged 32 and after sporadic appearances for New Zealand in one-day internationals between 2009 and this year.
Zimbabwe-born De Grandhomme took 6-41 in his first Test against Pakistan in November, 2016 — the best-ever figures by a player on Test debut for New Zealand. He played an effective role in Tests last season as a lower-order batsman and third seamer.
Lockie Ferguson, Tom Bruce, Ben Wheeler, Scott Kuggeleijn, Hamish Bennett, Tom Blundell, Seth Rance, Dean Brownlie, Todd Astle, Anton Devcich and Glenn Phillips, who all played for New Zealand last season while not on the list of contracted players, have again missed contracts.
Selector Gavin Larsen said Bracewell’s knee injury was the major factor in his omission.
“Doug is still viewed very positively by the selectors and has a big year in front of him in terms of bouncing back from his injury and proving his worth,” Larsen said. “It’s been a difficult time for him since the knee injury but we’re all hopeful he’ll make a full and sustainable recovery.” Larsen said de Grandhomme, Raval and Broom were all deserving of contract offers.
“Colin made a breakthrough last summer and is rated well in all three formats; Jeet’s Test numbers speak for themselves and Neil, as well as averaging 43 in ODI cricket (with a strike-rate of 90) since his recall, is also seen as viable cover for the test team’s middle-order,” he said.
New Zealand contracted players for 2017-18: Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Neil Broom, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, B.J. Watling, Kane Williamson, George Worker.