Test hero Ajaz Patel returns to Black Caps contract list

Central Stags spinner Ejaz Patel is set to return to the Black Caps contract list for the coming season, along with Wellington all-rounder Michael Bracewell, who will get an offer for the first time.

Congratulations Ejaz Patel
visual: photosport

The pair are the only newcomers to the 20-strong national contract list, with players having until May 19 to accept or reject their offers as per NZC’s master agreement with the New Zealand Cricket Players Association.

Patel starred in Test cricket for the Black Caps in 2021 and showcased his T20 skills in September, when he finished as the top wicket-taker for both sides in the five-match T20I series in Bangladesh.

The left-arm spinner helped the left-arm spinner secure a rare Test series win over England at Edgbaston in June, before his now-famous exploits against India in the second Test in Mumbai in December, when he took all 10 wickets in the first innings. and ended up with 14. match.

Michael Bracewell made his ODI debut in March as part of a break-out season against the Netherlands, which included his first international call-up across all three formats and was crowned the Men’s Dream11 Super Smash Player of the Year Was.

Retired great Ross Taylor will not appear on the contract list for the first time since 2006, while Jimmy Neesham has not been offered a New Zealand contract for the first time since returning to the list in 2019.

Black Caps coach Gary Stead said competition is on for 20 contracts.

“Finalizing the list is getting harder by the year,” reflected Stead.

“The busy international calendar means we are calling on a broad base of talent these days and the likes of Michael Bracewell are testament to the depth of that talent.

Michael Bracewell of the Blackcaps during the first One Day International against the Netherlands, 2022.

Michael Bracewell
visual: photosport

“Michael has been performing for consecutive seasons on the domestic circuit now and we certainly see him as an international prospect across all three formats.

“It is great to see Ejaz back on the list after missing very few last season. His value as our premier red-ball spinner is clear and we look forward to seeing his role in the Test team.

“I would like to congratulate all 20 players who have been offered national contracts for the coming season and wish all the best to those who walk away from this winter.

“I would also like to acknowledge Ross Taylor and his immense contribution to the Black Caps in a long and successful career.”

In compiling the list of offers, a NZC contract review group, managed by GM High Performance Brian Stronach, considers potential playing values ​​over the next twelve months, counting past performances, playing history, upcoming game events, and players. possibility is included. during that time.

New Zealand will play a Test series against England next month as well as limited overs games against Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia.

The Black Caps have to play Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies, India and Afghanistan next summer.

Players offered central contracts for 2022–23: Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ejaz Patel, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson, Will Young.

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