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Franklin loses New Zealand contract

Brydon Coverdale

July 1, 2011

Comments: 45 | Text size: A | A

James Franklin launches into a big shot, India v New Zealand, 4th ODI, Bangalore, December 7, 2010
James Franklin fought back into New Zealand's side last year after losing his central contract, and now he faces the same prospect again © Associated Press

Allrounder James Franklin is the surprise omission from New Zealand's list of contracted players for the next year. Since his return to the one-day side in December, Franklin has topped New Zealand's ODI batting averages with 325 runs at 54.16, but after a disappointing World Cup, he has been left out of the 20-man list.

Also gone from the list are Test fast bowler Brent Arnel, allrounder Grant Elliott, wicketkeeper Gareth Hopkins, Test opener Tim McIntosh, offspinner Jeetan Patel, fast bowler Daryl Tuffey, and retired batsman Scott Styris. The gloveman Reece Young, allrounders Rob Nicol and Luke Woodcock, and the fast bowler Trent Boult have all won contracts.

There was also a return for the batsmen Daniel Flynn and Neil Broom, who missed out last year having previously been on the list. But there was no such welcome back for Franklin, 30, who was in a similar position last year when he was cut from the contract list, and considered turning his back on New Zealand and using his Irish passport to become a local player in county cricket.

But the lure of the black cap was enough to keep Franklin pushing for national selection, and when he returned for the one-day series in India in December, he starred with 72 not out and 98 not out in his first matches back. Franklin was elevated to the contract list during the season and played for New Zealand in Test, ODI and Twenty20 cricket during the summer.

He also won a place at the World Cup, where his major impact was blasting most of the 31 runs New Zealand took off one over against Canada, the third-best over in ODI history. The acting national selection manager, Mark Greatbatch, said it was a difficult call to leave out experienced players like Franklin, but changes were needed after New Zealand won none of their five Tests and only eight of their 27 ODIs over the past 12 months.

"It was a tough year performance-wise," Greatbatch told ESPNcricinfo. "If we keep picking the same players, we're probably going to get the same results. It was a little bit of a cleanout. There have been some good players left out but they do have the opportunity in first-class cricket to press their claims. Some of these younger guys have caught up with some of the guys who have gone out, or gone past them, in our opinion.

"Some guys are playing shorter form only. In Franklin's case, he picked up points in the shorter forms but he only played one Test out of five last year. He'd like to get his bowling back to where it was four or five years ago in Test cricket. We don't feel that's there at the moment. We've picked a group of other players we feel can try and improve our Test cricket in the next two or three years.

"Young, Bennett and Woodcock started international cricket last season and made the most of their opportunities and are likely to feature prominently in the year ahead. Both Flynn and Broom have worked hard to develop their game after missing out on an NZC contract last year and their inclusion is a clear indication to all players that the door is never closed," Greatbatch said.

Under the new captain Ross Taylor, New Zealand head to Zimbabwe later this year for a Test series, before playing two Tests in Australia. They then head home to host Zimbabwe and South Africa, before a trip to the Caribbean next year.

New Zealand contracted players: Hamish Bennett, Trent Boult, Neil Broom, Daniel Flynn, Martin Guptill, Chris Martin, Brendon McCullum, Nathan McCullum, Andy McKay, Kyle Mills, Rob Nicol, Jacob Oram, Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Daniel Vettori, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson, Luke Woodcock, Reece Young.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 45 
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Posted by Thiwanka on (July 4, 2011, 17:18 GMT)

Poor Selection ! New Zealand keep loosing their top players and not good for the international cricket either :(

Posted by Dummy4 on (July 4, 2011, 8:59 GMT)

What has BJ Watling done to deserve a contract??? take him out and give franko one!

Posted by Prasanna on (July 2, 2011, 14:39 GMT)

james Franklin must concentrate on his bowling and fulfill the fifth bowler`s spot to cement his spot in NZ ODI team....he is a fantastic asset to any team.

Posted by Singh on (July 2, 2011, 3:10 GMT)

Isnt he the same guy whom tendulkar keep on picking in the playing 11 for mumbai indians over several other international players. nzl cant afford to lose him

Posted by James on (July 2, 2011, 0:18 GMT)

I think they should maybe be looking at a two-level contract system with provisional and mainstream contract places. To be honest I think Brendan McCullum is still useful for a few years but shouldn't be considered one of the front men so much anymore - he is none the less their best keeper still. Oram has been generating more pace of late - maybe he is actually over his constant injuries... who knows. No Chris Martin either who was admittedly dropping to the medium-fast end of the spectrum but still more than useful - he would be worth a part time contract. All in all I don't reckon this is smart thinking - more like inviting the guests before you've decided on the party.

Posted by Andrew on (July 1, 2011, 19:39 GMT)

Franklin has been cut from the contract list, this doesnt mean he is unable to be selected in the national side!!

Posted by syed on (July 1, 2011, 17:39 GMT)

Simply Idiotic. Just when Franklin started showing real signs of capability, he is removed. I think the kiwis felt being so good and consistent is soooooo un-nz like

Posted by Dummy4 on (July 1, 2011, 16:59 GMT)

Second only to Pakistan at shooting ourselves in the foot. Good luck with County Cricket and Ireland :-(

Posted by Dummy4 on (July 1, 2011, 16:05 GMT)

these all new player included are gud 4 nothing....... neil broom,rob nicol,watling,flynn........all of them r way behind the international cricket standards......plus this nz team hasnt got a out and out hitter for the slog overs........apart frm an ailing oram... never the less mcintosh and franklin will make a comeback late this year or next year as all of the above guys..would be one match wonders ........and will not get in the final 11 in most of the matces...11 in odi-mcullum,guptill,ryder,taylor,williamson,(broom or nicol),nathan mcullum,oram,mills,southee,(bennet or mcay). for test-mcullum,guptill,(flynn,watling,broom),taylor,ryder,williamson,reece young,vittory,southee,(mcay;boult),martyn.

Posted by vijay on (July 1, 2011, 15:15 GMT)

I think its all coz of Ijaj Butt who is passing tips to other other boards. the tip - "become UNpopular overnight!" seems to be followed by most of the boards and its working!!

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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