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Todd Astle

Todd Astle handed central contract for the first time

New Zealand news

Jimmy Neesham and Neil Broom left out as list is pruned from 21 to 20.

Todd Astle was included in the list of centrally contracted players in New Zealand, while Jimmy Neesham and Neil Broom were left out as the list was trimmed from 21 on 20 on Tuesday 15 May.

It’s the first time that Astle, the 31-year-old leg-spinner, has been awarded a contract. Astle has played three Test matches for four wickets to date and has also turned out in six one-day internationals and two Twenty20 Internationals.

Neesham last played for New Zealand in June 2017
Neesham last played for New Zealand in June 2017

Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi are the other spinners in the list.

“Todd’s progress over the past 12 months has been exciting to see. When fit, he made the most of his opportunities in both Test and ODI cricket,” said Gavin Larsen, the New Zealand Selector. “We have a big summer ahead; we know Todd performs well in New Zealand conditions, and we also have a spin-friendly tour against Pakistan coming up.

“Between Todd, Ish and Mitchell our spin bowling stocks have probably never looked better.”

Neesham, the pace-bowling all-rounder, hasn’t played for New Zealand since June 2017, while Broom, the 34-year-old top-order batsman, hasn’t been out in his country’s colours since an ODI against the Windies in December last year, and both have been omitted.

“Jimmy and Neil didn’t show the consistency required over the past year and we’d like to see them go back and demand our attention again through domestic performance,” explained Larsen.

“We’ll continue to monitor the progress of a number of fringe players, who will have the chance to continue to push their case through the NZA programme and home domestic season.”

'Jimmy and Neil didn’t show the consistency required over the past year' - Gavin Larsen
'Jimmy and Neil didn’t show the consistency required over the past year' - Gavin Larsen

As such, a New Zealand Cricket (NZC) statement added, “While a new Master Agreement between NZC and the New Zealand Cricket Players Association has yet to be finalised, an agreement has been reached to allow the contracting process to take place in a timely fashion.”

Accepted contacts will come into effect from 1 August this year.

Contracted players: Corey Anderson, Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson, George Worker.

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