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March 9, 2008
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) is expected to fill up two spots in its list of centrally contracted players - which fell vacant after Lou Vincent and Shane Bond joined the unofficial Indian Cricket League - before June.
Justin Vaughan, the NZC chief executive, said Bond's contract had been offered to another player while no replacement had been found for Vincent yet.
"Shane's contract has been offered to a player but I haven't heard whether that player has accepted it yet,'' Vaughan told Sunday News. "[About] Lou's contract, we are working through the process for that at the moment but a decision is probably about a week away.''
Iain O'Brien, the right-arm fast-medium bowler, is likely to be named in place of Bond, the newspaper suggested, while Tim Southee - who took 17 wickets and was the Player of the Tournament at the recent Under-19 World Cup - and opening batsman Matthew Bell have been marked as the candidates to replace Vincent.
Meanwhile, Richard Hadlee, currently New Zealand's convenor of selectors, will be involved in handing out the 20 central contracts and in selecting the squad for the tour of England - which begins late next month - despite his announcement last week that he would step down as a selector.
John Wright, the former India coach and currently high performance manager of NZC, is tipped to take over the role from Hadlee, who has served as a selector for eight years. However, Hadlee is likely to be replaced only later this year.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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