Contract balance changes experience factor

Lynn McConnell

August 1, 2003

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Movement of players within New Zealand's domestic cricket has resulted in a re-balancing of player experience, especially when international players are taken out of the picture.

One of the aims of the player contract system was to have the best 66 players in the country looked after by way of security provided by a contract. But, in actual fact, 88 players are catered for, the number being bolstered by 20 players on international contracts and two overseas qualified players.

The breakdown of international players in associations is significant. The list reads: Auckland (five), Canterbury (seven), Central Districts (two), Northern Districts (five), Otago (0) and Wellington (one). Central Districts and Otago also have Craig Spearman and Mohammad Wasim, respectively, as overseas contracted players.

That puts significant pressure on Auckland, Canterbury and Northern Districts to have back-up players in their squads to cater for the absence of their international players and they have 16, 18 and 16 players respectively when the internationals are included with their domestic players.

Combined experience of entire contracted squads:

Players   Tests   ODIs    FC     LA
Auckland                16       79     190    740    951
Canterbury              18      221     779   1015   1705
Central Districts       14       43     127    536    700
Northern Districts      16       91     250    672    899
Otago                   12       19      29    530    490
Wellington              12       90     270    683    910

Note: figures are as at the domestic contracts announcement date of July 15.

Just what having a high contribution rate of international players can mean to a side is demonstrated in Canterbury's case. Without their internationals, Canterbury's remaining 11 players total 329 first-class games between them, and 322 List A one-day matches.

The seven internationals among them have 686 first-class matches between them and 1383 List A matches. So when the majority of players are required for international matches, Canterbury can lose up to two-thirds of its experience in first-class play, and 80% in one-day matches. Admittedly, part of Canterbury's numbers are affected by Chris Cairns' play for Nottinghamshire.

Auckland by comparison strikes a better balance. Its remaining players have 420 first-class games between them and 513 List A one-dayers. Their five internationals have 320 first-class games and 438 List A one-dayers experience between them.

Wellington, with only one internationally contracted player, gains the advantage of having so few players involved, as it can call on a group of players with 524 first-class matches and 603 List A games. That is the most experience in both categories for all teams.

Not surprisingly, given they have no international players contracted, Otago has the second highest number of first-class matches in their squad with 422, and third-highest with 406 in the List A games.

Combined experience of domestic contracted squads:

----- internationals missing ------
FC    LA      Players   Tests   ODIs    FC     LA
Auckland             420   513         5        71     159   320    438
Canterbury           329   322         7       205     769   686   1383
Central Districts    293   324         2        24      73   122    202
Northern Districts   370   341         5        76     237   302    558
Otago                422   406         0         -       -     -      -
Wellington           524   603         1        75     202   159    307

Of those players it is interesting to note, the international experience that is included.

Combined international experience of domestic squads:

Players   Tests   ODIs
Auckland                4         8     31
Canterbury              3        16     10
Central Districts       2         0      3
Northern Districts      2        15     13
Otago                   3         1      4
Wellington              4        15     68

Note: the above two tables only include matches played by the 11 players with domestic association contracts and not overseas contracted players Craig Spearman (CD) and Mohammad Wasim (Otago).

When the Black Caps are unavailable, the provinces will rely on 20 remaining players who have had international experience.

Non-international contracted players with Test experience:

Tests
Craig Spearman    CD    19
Mohammad Wasim    O     18
Matthew Hart      ND    14
Matthew Bell      W     13
Chris Martin      C     11
Brooke Walker     A      5
Gary Stead        C      5
Kerry Walmsley    A      3
James Franklin    W      2
David Sewell      O      1
Hamish Marshall   ND     1

Non-international contracted players with ODI experience:

ODIs
Craig Spearman    CD    51
Chris Nevin       W     32
Mohammad Wasim    O     25
James Franklin    W     24
Matthew Hart      ND    13
Llorne Howell     A     12
Brooke Walker     A     11
Paul Hitchcock    A      8
Matthew Bell      W      7
Chris Martin      C      7
Andrew Penn       W      5
Jeff Wilson       O      4
Glen Sulzberger   CD     3
Warren Wisneski   C      3

The manner in which New Zealand has largely kept its Test side together, barring injuries in recent times, is reflected in the developing core of experience in the side.

The list of most Tests played by the contracted Black Caps now reads: Stephen Fleming 75, Nathan Astle 57, Chris Cairns 55, Daniel Vettori 46, Craig McMillan 44, Matt Horne 35, Mark Richardson 24, Chris Harris 23, Mathew Sinclair 20, Paul Wiseman 16, Daryl Tuffey 14, Lou Vincent 11, Shane Bond 10, Robbie Hart 7, Scott Styris 5, Jacob Oram 4, Ian Butler 4, Andre Adams 1.

Fleming, if he was to play every Test between the start of the India tour in September and the Bangladesh tour in October next year, would overtake Sir Richard Hadlee's record of 86 Test appearances for New Zealand.

He is also climbing the list of most appearances as a captain. He will share sixth with Steve Waugh when the Australian captain leads his side out at Cairns on Friday on 51 appearances, but by the time he plays six more Tests, Fleming will be third on the all-time list. Those ahead of him are: Allan Border 93, Clive Lloyd 74, Arjuna Ranatunga 56, Mike Atherton 54, Hansie Cronje 53.

The list of most ODIs played by the contracted Black Caps reads: Chris Harris 230, Stephen Fleming 202, Nathan Astle 174, Chris Cairns 167, Craig McMillan 130, Daniel Vettori 111, Scott Styris 64, Lou Vincent 56, Daryl Tuffey 51, Matt Horne 50, Jacob Oram 40, Mathew Sinclair 33, Andre Adams 28, Shane Bond 27, Brendon McCullum 26, Kyle Mills 21, Paul Wiseman 15, Ian Butler 9, Mark Richardson 4, Robbie Hart 2.

The first-class, List A and combined match experience of all the international contractees as well as the top 20 domestic/overseas players in each category are listed below.

Most first-class matches played:

International contractees

Chris Cairns           198
Stephen Fleming        159
Mark Richardson        128
Nathan Astle           124
Paul Wiseman           112
Matt Horne             103
Chris Harris           101
Craig McMillan          98
Robbie Hart             96
Mathew Sinclair         86
Daniel Vettori          80
Scott Styris            54
Daryl Tuffey            53
Lou Vincent             40
Jacob Oram              36
Shane Bond              36
Kyle Mills              26
Andre Adams             23
Ian Butler              19
Brendon McCullum        17

Domestic/overseas contractees

Matthew Hart      ND   122
Craig Spearman    CD   121
Mohammad Wasim    O    108
Matthew Bell      W    101
Llorne Howell     A     79
Michael Parlane   W     78
Gary Stead        C     78
Craig Cumming     O     67
Glen Sulzberger   CD    66
Chris Gaffaney    O     66
Brooke Walker     A     66
Robbie Lawson     O     64
Warren Wisneski   C     64
Richard Jones     W     64
Andrew Penn       W     63
Aaron Barnes      A     61
Chris Nevin       W     57
James Marshall    ND    55
David Sewell      O     55
Chris Martin      C     52

Most List A matches played:

International contractees

Chris Harris           359
Chris Cairns           342
Stephen Fleming        307
Nathan Astle           292
Craig McMillan         217
Daniel Vettori         160
Scott Styris           136
Robbie Hart            125
Matt Horne             119
Daryl Tuffey           114
Mathew Sinclair        109
Lou Vincent            105
Jacob Oram              93
Mark Richardson         91
Paul Wiseman            85
Andre Adams             65
Kyle Mills              58
Shane Bond              53
Brendon McCullum        35
Ian Butler              23

Domestic/overseas contractees

Craig Spearman    CD   174
Chris Nevin       W    120
Llorne Howell     A    118
Matthew Hart      ND   109
Michael Parlane   W    106
Aaron Barnes      A    103
Matthew Bell      W    102
Gary Stead        C     90
Mohammad Wasim    O     84
Robbie Lawson     O     83
Glen Sulzberger   CD    74
Chris Gaffaney    O     73
Warren Wisneski   C     72
Brooke Walker     A     70
Richard Jones     W     65
Andrew Penn       W     60
Hamish Marshall   ND    58
Campbell Furlong  CD    56
Gareth Hopkins    O     56
Matthew Walker    W     55

Most combined first-class and List A matches played:

International contractees

Chris Cairns           540
Stephen Fleming        466
Chris Harris           460
Nathan Astle           416
Craig McMillan         315
Daniel Vettori         240
Matt Horne             222
Robbie Hart            221
Mark Richardson        219
Paul Wiseman           197
Mathew Sinclair        195
Scott Styris           190
Daryl Tuffey           167
Lou Vincent            145
Jacob Oram             129
Shane Bond              89
Andre Adams             88
Kyle Mills              84
Brendon McCullum        52
Ian Butler              42

Domestic/overseas contractees

Craig Spearman    CD   295
Matthew Hart      ND   231
Matthew Bell      W    203
Llorne Howell     A    197
Mohammad Wasim    O    192
Michael Parlane   W    184
Chris Nevin       W    177
Gary Stead        C    168
Aaron Barnes      A    164
Robbie Lawson     O    147
Glen Sulzberger   CD   140
Chris Gaffaney    O    139
Brooke Walker     A    136
Warren Wisneski   C    136
Richard Jones     W    129
Andrew Penn       W    123
Craig Cumming     O    121
Gareth Hopkins    O    107
James Marshall    ND   103
Hamish Marshall   ND   100

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