Cricket: Provinces sort out their player contracts

By David Leggat

Bowler Michael Bates. Photo / Greg Bowker
Bowler Michael Bates. Photo / Greg Bowker

Domestic cricket's merry-go-round was revealed yesterday with the initial naming of contracted players for next season.

Six players have retained their places on Auckland's list for the coming season, there are five newcomers and one spot remains to be finalised.

The successful six are bowlers Michael Bates, Lance Shaw and Ronnie Hira, batsmen Jeet Raval and Anaru Kitchen and allrounder Colin de Grandhomme.

The new faces, at least in Auckland colours, are Greg Todd (switched from Otago), Johan Myburgh (from Canterbury) and local trio, batsmen Jimmy Neesham and Andrew de Boorder, and spinner Bhupinder Singh.

The six major associations had to name between nine and 11 players, leaving space to ensure other well-regarded players were fitted in round the country. All named 11 players, apart from Wellington who have allocated 10 spots.

Among those missing are former international wicketkeeper Chris Nevin, replaced at Wellington by Joe Austin-Smellie, and Central Districts' long-serving wicketkeeper Bevan Griggs, usurped by former Canterbury gloveman Kruger van Wyk.

Auckland legspinner Tarun Nethula, the country's leading first-class wicket taker in 2008-09 with 28, has switched to CD, losing out in a three-way spin contest to Singh and Hira. CD is not noted for spinning depth so Nethula is being pragmatic in looking for a place where his opportunities might be greater.

Players must accept or decline their contracts by next Monday.

Those still hunting a contract have to reveal which association they wish to be aligned to three days later, partly to prevent a squabble between associations vying for a player's signature. Each final 12 should be confirmed around August 21.

Associations are not allowed to reveal what type of player they are looking to fill the last spot with, but Auckland Cricket chief executive Andrew Eade likes the system.

"I think it's a really good process," Eade said last night. "We've got pencilled in who the local candidates are for the 12th spot and now we've got an opportunity with those who have missed out round the country. It's about getting the best players."

Anton Devcich and Jono Boult have won places on the roster at Plunket Shield and one-day champions Northern Districts. Te Ahu Davis and Bruce Martin have dropped off.

Contracted players

AUCKLAND
Michael Bates, Andrew De Boorder, Colin De Grandhomme, Roneel Hira, Anaru Kitchen, Johann Myburgh, Jimmy Neesham, Jeet Raval, Lance Shaw, Bhupinder Singh, Greg Todd

NORTHERN DISTRICTS
Graeme Aldridge, Jono Boult, Trent Boult, Anton Devcich, Daniel Flynn, James Marshall, Peter McGlashan, Michael Parlane, Bradley Scott, Brad Wilson, Joseph Yovich

- NZ Herald

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