Sinclair and Butler miss NZ contract list
Mathew Sinclair and Ian Butler have been dumped from New Zealand's 20-man list of contracted players for 2005-06 after disappointing seasons. Sinclair struggled against Australia in Test and one-day series while Butler was given few opportunities to impress and was unable to stay ahead of the returning Shane Bond in the bowling pecking order.
The naming of Bond is a significant boost for New Zealand after their No. 1 pace bowler suffered and then recovered from career-threatening back injuries. Bond re-entered first-class competition late last summer and has been selected for an Academy tournament in Brisbane in July. Chris Harris, who injured a shoulder in the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series in December, has retained his place and will return to bowling through the England club side Lashings.
Lindsay Crocker, the New Zealand general manager, said even though Sinclair and Butler were not contracted they were still in the frame for international matches, particularly after they used 33 players over the past 12 months. "Sinclair was not considered as an opener," he said. "As a middle-order player he ranks behind a number of other players in what is a congested area. Butler is still very much a prospect but does not make the top 20 when considered against Bond, Oram, Martin, Franklin, Mills and Tuffey."
Crocker said the pair's omissions showed the growing depth of the squad and the competition for contracts was encouraging. He said Jacob Oram's back injury was healing well, Daniel Vettori had benefited from missing the two-Test Sri Lanka series and Michael Papps, who is best remembered for being hit in the head twice by Brett Lee in the same over, was recovering well from finger surgery. The three players all made the list.
"Those who have narrowly missed out on NZC contracts are more than likely to pick up top ranked Major Association contracts," Crocker said. The 12-month period begins today.
Contracted players Nathan Astle, Shane Bond, Chris Cairns, Craig Cumming, Stephen Fleming, James Franklin, Chris Harris, Brendon McCullum, Craig McMillan, Hamish Marshall, James Marshall, Chris Martin, Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram, Michael Papps, Scott Styris, Daryl Tuffey, Lou Vincent, Daniel Vettori, Paul Wiseman.