New Zealand Cricket Announces Central Contracts for 2024-25 Season

New Zealand cricket has extended central contracts to their four emerging talents: Rachin Ravindra, Ben Sears, Will O’Rourke, and Jacob Duffy.

Along with Lockie Ferguson and Kane Williamson, fast bowler Adam Milne has declined a contract, while Blair Tickner has left the group of 20 players.
Will O’Rourke and Jacob Duffy were also offered their first contracts, however Adam Milne turned down a contract offer.

New Zealand Cricket Announces Central Contracts for 2024-25 Season
Photo Credit: ESPN Cricinfo

After making 578 runs in the 2023 ODI World Cup, Ravindra struck his first Test century in Mount Maunganui against South Africa, which he converted into 240 runs. Ravindra was the tournament’s breakthrough hero. In March, he was named the New Zealand men’s player of the year, making him the youngest recipient of the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal.

“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,” Ravindra stated. “Playing international cricket for the past 12 months has been incredibly cool. I’ve gained a lot of knowledge, and I’m hungry to keep becoming better and supporting the Blackcaps.”

In their Test debuts the previous season, fast bowlers Sears and O’Rourke made an impression. In the fourth innings of their match in Christchurch, Sears grabbed 4 for 90 against Australia, while O’Rourke collected nine wickets against South Africa. In addition, Sears played frequently for the T20I team, while O’Rourke made his debut in both white-ball competitions.

Duffy, 29, has not yet made his Test debut and does not play a regular role in New Zealand’s squads. Since making his debut in 2020, he has played in 14 T20Is and six ODIs. In the Plunket Shield last season, he took 31 wickets at a pace of 24.41.

“It’s especially exciting for Ben, Jacob, Rachin and Will to receive their first contract offers, and well deserved following their hard work and performances,” Sam Wells, the New Zealand selector, said. “These younger guys are the future of the team and it’s been encouraging to see their progress on the international stage.”

With three Tests against India, two against Sri Lanka, and one against Afghanistan coming up, Patel’s return to the contract list is indicative of a Test-heavy calendar that New Zealand has planned. In December, they host a three-game home series against England.

Also Read: New Zealand Clinches Historic Test World Championship Victory Over India (2019-21 Circle)

Henry Nicholls, a top-order batsman, is still under contract even though he was dropped from the Test team the previous season. Rehab for another back problem that was discovered in February and may sideline Kyle Jamieson for a year is presently underway. He is listed under contract as well.

Williamson’s decision to forego a central contract was revealed last month, but he is still likely to be a fixture in the Test side and is eligible for New Zealand both before and after his trip to the SA20 in January. Availability to both New Zealand and the Super Smash T20 competition is one of the contract’s terms.

“We’re producing international-ready Blackcaps and we’re pleased with the current depth,” Wells stated. “The strength of the list is perhaps best measured by the quality of some of the players who weren’t offered contracts.”

Williamson’s decision about his contract means that New Zealand will require a new white-ball skipper. The other player to leave the last season’s contract list is Neil Wagner, who has retired.

New Zealand Central Contracts 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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