New Zealand's bid to go one better at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 has received a boost with Trent Boult committing to the team in spite of not agreeing to a central playing contract.
In a compromise between Boult and New Zealand Cricket, the fast bowler has been offered a casual playing agreement, while 20 of his international teammates have been offered full-time contracts.
Boult and New Zealand agreed to a central contract release back in August last year, allowing the 33-year-old to play in various domestic leagues around the world and spend more time with his family.
Despite the release, both parties have been open to the fast bowler turning out for the national team, and his return for the World Cup setup looks imminent.
Fellow fast-bowler Adam Milne meanwhile is set to accept his first central contract in five years after a stellar year in the international game.
The speedster featured in 11 T20Is and five ODIs in the last 12 months, claiming 24 wickets, including a five-wicket haul against Sri Lanka in a T20I back in April in Dunedin.
Milne's selection is a nod to the quick's white ball exploits, with focus turning to both the Cricket World Cup 2023 and ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024, and coach Gary Stead feels the contract is a just reward for the 31-year-old's toil.
“Adam’s worked exceptionally hard and has shown good resilience over the past few years to be in a position to earn this contract offer," Stead said.
“He’s always been a top-class bowler and we were impressed by his consistent contributions in the recent home summer and tour of Pakistan.”
Finn Allen, Mark Chapman, and Blair Tickner have all been retained after joining as mid-year contracted players, replacing Boult, Colin de Grandhomme and Martin Guptill, with the trio all granted releases.
Left-arm orthodox spinner Ajaz Patel, who was on the contracted list last year, has not been offered a central contract.
Players offered central contracts for 2023-24: Finn Allen, Tom Blundell, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Blair Tickner, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson, Will Young