New Zealand's standing within the T20 world is growing.

In its early incarnations, the short form leagues, notably the behemoth Indian Premier League, were besotted with the big names. Owners were star struck at their ability to sign and be photographed with some of the biggest names in the game.

Indeed, it didn't matter if T20 wasn't their premium forte; star wattage was what counted.

New Zealand's presence back then was relatively small. Brendon McCullum was a notable exception. His gobsmacking 158 off only 73 balls was the perfect tonic on the opening night of the IPL on April 18, 2008.


Other players came and went but New Zealand were not a big player on the T20 stage. Now things are different. Take the recent Caribbean Premier League. Okay, it might be the younger sister to the IPL and Australian Big Bash but it can attract some of the game's best.

Among the teams were New Zealand players Colin Munro, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Ish Sodhi, Glenn Phillips, Colin de Grandhomme, Anton Devcich, Mark Chapman, Mitch McClenaghan, recently-retired Luke Ronchi and McCullum, still barrelling around the globe, an ultimate gun for hire at 36.

Now add in the likes of seamers Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Matt Henry, who have been IPL players. Batsman Henry Nicholls has been sighted in the Big Bash.

Munro and Ronchi are lined up for the inaugural United Arab Emirates T20 event to be played from mid-December to mid-January.

Some of those are still to really make their mark for New Zealand but they are young enough to come again after an initial start.

And the reasons New Zealand players now have a greater currency?

A couple. One is a hunch really; that New Zealand players, broadly speaking, are low maintenance. They don't need babysitting or a minder watching their movements at different hours of the day, and night.

Another is that they give value for money. This, remember, is a game where a rapid 24 off 12 balls is often far more valuable than 75 at a run a ball rate.


And thirdly, they often don't cost as much as the higher-profile types, who often look to lord it over the franchise.

Now throw in Stephen Fleming, Dan Vettori, Mark O'Donnell and Shane Bond among prominent New Zealanders who are established coaches around the T20 game.

When they discover they are a player or two short in specific roles, where would they instinctively turn? That's no guarantee New Zealanders would fill those roles but at least they would be in the conversations.

"I would imagine a little bit comes down to what the owners want," New Zealand coach Gary Stead said.

"But Flem and Dan can influence those people and say, 'hey, I think this guy is worth a punt'. And maybe some of the younger guys, you can pick up at a cheaper rate."

Stead sees big positives for New Zealand out of situations such as Auckland wicketkeeper-batsman Phillips smashing a century for the Jamaica Tallawahs which is seen around the world; or Munro plundering CPL attacks en route to being the tournament's top run-maker. Phillips, incidentally was second top.

So what matters more for New Zealand players - representing their country or nabbing a potentially lucrative T20 gig?

Stead, who has been in the New Zealand domestic game as player and coach for much of his life, has yet to notice a significant change in attitude.

"I think the lure of playing for New Zealand is still very strong," he said.

"Some players have made the decision that 'I'm not going to play test cricket, so I'll have a dollar each way - I want to keep playing for New Zealand but I also want to make a living for my family', and I understand that.

"It is up to each individual, what drives and motivates them, but I haven't sensed the value of the silver fern has diminished.

"I think it's a really positive thing that our players' names are out there and some of them are deemed very high value."