New Zealand Cricket (NZC) confirmed on Friday that all-rounder Jimmy Neesham has turned down a central contract “on the basis of pre-arranged agreements he had already made with foreign domestic leagues.” However, the agency confirmed that Neesham will still be eligible for BLACKCAPS roster, if available. The all-rounder also took to Instagram to provide his clarification, saying this was a “difficult decision” but it was not feasible for him to go back on his word.
“I know that the news of my decision to turn down a central contract today will be seen as a choice for money over representing my country. I had planned to accept a contract offer in July, but since I “I’ve committed to other leagues around the world. It was a tough decision, but I’ve decided to keep those commitments instead of going back on my word to re-sign with NZ Cricket.” , Neesham wrote on Instagram.
“Playing for the @blackcapsnz has been the greatest honor of my career and I remain committed to taking the field with my compatriots in the near future, especially at top events,” he added.
Blair Tickner and Finn Allen have accepted their first New Zealand Cricket contracts, effectively filling the vacancies created by the departures of Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme respectively.
Central Stags pace bowler Tickner has played six ODIs and 11 T20s for the BLACKCAPS, while 23-year-old Wellington batsman Allen has already represented his country in eight ODIs and 13 T20s.
Both were featured on the BLACKCAPS winter tours of Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands, and Allen also starred in the most recent series in the West Indies and Australia.
BLACKCAPS coach Gary Stead said each of the new entrants to the central contract list were close to the top 20 announced in May and had taken their chances in the meantime.
“Blair has been in all three formats of BLACKCAPS for the past 12 months, which is a testament to his progress,” he said in an official statement.
“He is a bowler who just keeps improving and we are particularly impressed with his red ball development which has seen him in recent selections for the England and South Africa Tests,” he added.
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