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Ravindra and Sears offered New Zealand central contracts

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Published in Cricket
Tuesday, 09 July 2024 16:24
Fast bowler Adam Milne has joined Kane Williamson and Lockie Ferguson in declining a contract and Blair Tickner has dropped out of the 20 players.

Ravindra was a breakout star of the 2023 ODI World Cup where he made 578 runs then scored his maiden Test century against South Africa in Mount Maunganui which he converted into 240. He became the youngest recipient of the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal as the New Zealand men's player of the year in March.

"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 said. "It's been a really cool past 12 months playing international cricket. I've learned a lot and the hunger is definitely there to keep improving and giving to the Blackcaps."

Pace bowlers Sears and O'Rourke both impressed on their Test debuts last season. O'Rourke claimed nine wickets against South Africa in Hamilton and Sears took 4 for 90 against Australia in Christchurch. Sears was also a regular member of the T20I side while O'Rourke debuted across both white-ball formats.

Duffy, 29, is not a regular in New Zealand's teams and has yet to make his Test debut. He has featured in six ODIs and 14 T20Is since his debut in 2020. Last season he took 31 wickets at 24.41 in the Plunket Shield.

"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," New Zealand selector Sam Wells said. "These younger guys are the future of the team and it's been encouraging to see their progress on the international stage."

Patel's return to the contract list is a reflection of a Test-heavy schedule New Zealand have coming up which includes overseas assignments against Afghanistan (one Test), Sri Lanka (two Tests) and India (three Tests). They then play a three-match home series against England in December.

Top-order batter Henry Nicholls retains his contract despite dropping out of the Test side last seson. Kyle Jamieson is currently undergoing rehab from another back injury which was diagnosed in February and could keep him out for a year.
It was announced last month that Williamson would not take up a central contract as he will be heading to the SA20 in January but he is available for New Zealand either side of that and is expected to remain a regular in the Test side.

One of the terms of being offered a contract is availability to both New Zealand and the Super Smash T20 competition.

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

New Zealand will need a new white-ball captain following Williamson's contract decision.

The retired Neil Wagner is the other player to drop off the contract list from last season.

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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