New Zealand news July 20, 2010

Kane Williamson gets central contract

Cricinfo staff

Kane Williamson, the 19-year old Northern Districts batsman, is one of four new faces on New Zealand's 20-member contracts list for the next year. The other three are offspinner Nathan McCullum, fast bowler Andy McKay and wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling. Allrounder Scott Styris has returned to New Zealand Cricket's elite group after missing out on a contract last year.

The players who drop out of the contract pool are retired fast bowler Iain O'Brien, batsmen Neil Broom and Daniel Flynn, and the fast bowling pair of Ian Butler and James Franklin.

Williamson's outstanding domestic form over the past season has led to call-ups to both the Test and one-day squads though he is yet to make his international debut. "Kane Williamson is a young player whose pedigree is impeccable in terms of cricket development," New Zealand coach Mark Greatbatch said. "We are now confident that he can step into the international arena and further advance his game."

The other newcomers have already had a taste of international cricket. McKay impressed captain Daniel Vettori with his pace, McCullum was one of New Zealand's stand-out performers at this year's World Twenty20 and Watling has shown that he can provide much-needed solidity to the fragile Test top-order.

Greatbatch also defended handing Chris Martin a contract despite a poor couple of Tests against Australia earlier this year. The retirement on Shane Bond and O'Brien has increased the responsibility on Martin, who took only one wicket for 260 runs in the home series against Australia in March.

"We think it is very easy to look in isolation at one or two Test matches at the end of summer, when he himself said those performances weren't at the level he wanted to aspire to," Greatbatch told NZPA. "We still feel that he is going to help us in test cricket for the next 12 months."

NZC and the New Zealand Cricket Players' Association are still negotiating the terms for central contracts to be awarded and have put in place a temporary arrangement till the new terms are agreed on or till the end of August, whichever comes first.

The list of players who receive a contract is determined by a ranking system with criteria set by the national selectors. There is a weighting for each form of the game and the 20 players with the highest aggregate score are offered NZC contracts.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • anthony on July 22, 2010, 20:08 GMT

    @tse-tu - truth is, there is no established young all rounder that has stood up at domestic level yet. by the end of this season it wouldn't suprise me if one of the previous under 19's has stepped up and put his name in the hat. keep an eye on bracewell. it's great that you managed to see what franklin's greatest achievements were, but you also failed to note that he did these in 2005 and hasn't done anything since. You'd be better finding someone who can either bat or bowl well than try and find someone who can do both okay. NZ has a mind set that we need to have all rounders in the team everytime, that's why we've always got the likes of styris, ryder (when he's fit), elliott, oram... time to move on with has-been's like franklin and get someone who can do one thing very very well.

  • Dummy4 on July 22, 2010, 3:56 GMT

    To all the members of the newly created 'Anti-James Franklin Group': Which young player in NZ cricket apart from Franklin has a test-match hat-trick (against bangladesh in bangladesh) and scored a century (against South Africa in South Africa mind u) to back it up with? None I suppose. U guys r talking like there are a lot of Andrew Symondses or Flintoffs or Stuart Broads or are waiting to get a chance in the NZ squad. Believe me, there are no such players in the NZ disposal apart from Franklin. I'm not saying that Franklin is as good as those players I have mentioned, but he is the best wicket-taking pace-bowling all-rounder NZ has got. I mean, seriously, u don't expect Grant Elliot to get test-match wickets on a regular basis, do you?

  • Dummy4 on July 22, 2010, 3:19 GMT

    As much as I love him I've got to say it - Franklin is a domestic journeyman now, he has potential to be the new Matthew Sinclair. He once was a great player but I just don't see his bowling (or batting) being at the international level. I'll admit that I'm not the biggest fan of McIntosh's technique, but hell, the guy loves to grind and bat long periods of time so we need him at the top of the test-order, guys like him are sadly in short supply in New Zealand. Unlucky for Broom and Butts, Otago cricket has been woefully unrepresented in this contract list. Don't get me started on the walking timebomb that is Jacob Oram. My money is that he breaks a nail first game back and that's the end of him.

  • Mitchell on July 21, 2010, 12:27 GMT

    Please all Franklin supporters stop praising him. You obviously havn't watched any of the international cricket that he has played in. Yes he is a fantastic domestic player but he has only ever succeeded in international games a very limited amount of times and has been giving HEAPS!!!!! of chances! So no he dosn't deserve really deserve a national contract, awsome guy to have a beer with though! Couldnt agree more with Chris Martin though.. he dosnt have anything to offer NZ anymore and Tim Southee is surely a far better bowler than he is at the moment and at least he offers something with the bat instead of the record for the most ducks....

  • Rob on July 20, 2010, 22:14 GMT

    Am too surprised that Redmond & Frankling didn't get a contract. But Watling - most fortunate indeed to get a deal as he's a very average cricketer.

  • anthony on July 20, 2010, 21:14 GMT

    It's great to see that there's plenty of James Franklin fans out there, not sure what cricket they've been watching him play for the last 9 years but he's nowhere as good as saying that the NZ team need him contracted. Franklin was picked initially as a bowling all-rounder who 'used' to be able to swing the ball at good pace and chip in with the bat. He doesn't swing the ball anymore, goes for plenty of runs due to the pace he bowls, and is constantly failing with the bat. He's the man at domestic level but has constantly under achieved at International level. Have a look at his stats and reasses your comments!

  • Steve on July 20, 2010, 21:13 GMT

    I just don't think that NZ can afford to freeze out what little pace bowling stocks they have. Butler is a good bowler, and Franklin could be a key all-rounder. Retaining Chris Martin and Jeetan Patel is a mistake though. When does Neil Wagner quality for NZ?

  • Dummy4 on July 20, 2010, 20:04 GMT

    @ Amit: I'm as surprised as u r, after seeing Marty getting the central contract. By the way, Brent Arnel isn't a young cricketer at all. He is already 31 years old. Every pace bowler starts contemplating, if not meditating, giving up in this age, and he has just started. And what was there to be honest? Absolutely insipid his bowing show was, no great swing, and by jove, no great pace. And the next question, is his line-length as accurate as Glen McGrath? (There is gotta be some reason he is selected). The answer is, absolutely not. Only 'unforced errors' by the aussie batsmen gave him wickets. May be he is there to invoke mistakes, I don't know. I mean, could really Franklin have had done any worse than Arnel or Martin or Jeetan Patel, even if he tried very hard?? Why Oram is there? I know, to increase the average height of NZ men's cricket team !

  • Dummy4 on July 20, 2010, 19:39 GMT

    This is absolutely ridiculous to keep out Jimmie Franklin. All sorts of meekish NZ players seem to get 2nd and 3rd and onwards chances, but noooo, not a very talented player like James Franklin. No wonder NZ is in the bottom of the test-playing pit. And I've heard McCullum the 'Conceited' has decided to give up his gloves in the test level. Well, NZ supporters like me, brace urselves for another year in the bottom of the test pit.

  • laxman on July 20, 2010, 18:19 GMT

    How NZ can do without Redmond, Broom and Butler? On the other hand Patel and McIntosh are not worthy of.

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