Black Caps wield the axe
New Zealand's cricket authorities have decided against offering contracts to four of their top order batsmen.
Last Updated: 14/04/08 10:02am
New Zealand's cricket authorities have decided against offering contracts to four of their top order batsmen following poor recent performances by the Test side.
Matthew Bell, Craig Cumming, Michael Papps and Matthew Sinclair have all failed to secure New Zealand contracts for the year starting in June, after the selectors released the 20-man list on Monday.
Opening batsmen Aaron Redmond was rewarded for averaging over 40 in domestic first class cricket by earning a contract for the first time.
Also amongst the 20 were Daniel Flynn, who debuted for New Zealand in Twenty20 and one-day matches during the winter, big-hitting Jesse Ryder and young paceman Tim Southee.
Ryder enjoyed an impressive debut one-day series against England in February - averaging 49, but he nearly threw his international career into jeopardy after cutting his hand in a nightclub at the end of the one-day series.
The injury ruled Ryder out of cricket for two months, putting him in doubt for a return one-day series in England starting in June.
Pace bowler Southee stormed onto the international scene in the third Test against England, smashing 77 off 40 balls in New Zealand's fastest ever Test 50, and taking five wickets in England's first innings.
Coming back under contract is twin brother of Gloucestershire's Hamish Marshall and former opener James Marshall, who averages 23.7 in Test cricket.
Contracted players: Daniel Flynn, James Franklin, Peter Fulton, Mark Gillespie, Gareth Hopkins, Jamie How, James Marshall, Chris Martin, Michael Mason, Brendon McCullum, Kyle Mills, Iain O'Brien, Jacob Oram, Jeetan Patel, Aaron Redmond, Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee, Scott Styris, Ross Taylor, Daniel Vettori.