New Zealand news July 1, 2011

Franklin loses New Zealand contract

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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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Japan.Kolla on July 4, 2011, 17:18 GMT

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

  • on July 4, 2011, 8:59 GMT

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

  • Prasdhoni 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.

  • Stumpbreaker 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

  • Exfactor44 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.

  • jessiedog 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!!

  • crazyworldthis 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

  • on July 1, 2011, 16:59 GMT

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

  • 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.

  • vj3478 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!!

  • Japan.Kolla on July 4, 2011, 17:18 GMT

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

  • on July 4, 2011, 8:59 GMT

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

  • Prasdhoni 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.

  • Stumpbreaker 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

  • Exfactor44 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.

  • jessiedog 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!!

  • crazyworldthis 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

  • on July 1, 2011, 16:59 GMT

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

  • 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.

  • vj3478 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!!

  • OrgiaMode on July 1, 2011, 15:03 GMT

    I'm not sure I follow the logic from Greatbatch here. I'm with him up to when he says that since our results have been bad we should change a few things. That seems fine to me. It's then that that's followed by cutting one of our better players and resigning players that have been given lengthy chances and continually failed where I tend to think that he's still the same old idiot. There's no reason why Franklin shouldn't be a sure starter in all formats for us, so why would you not give him a contract? Boggles the mind.

  • crazytaurean on July 1, 2011, 14:59 GMT

    I am really surprised to see Franklin out of the side. He has been very consistent with the bat atleast and played well in the IPL too. Maybe this is a planning for the next WC.

  • getgopi on July 1, 2011, 13:56 GMT

    Aw, come on! I like Franklin. He was one of the more consistent performers from recent memory...if you redefine what consistency means for this generation of NZ players.

  • on July 1, 2011, 13:52 GMT

    Oram was one of the better players at the World Cup and won us that quarterfinal. Don't blame him for Franklin missing out.

    Why the hell are guys like Watling and Woodcock in there?

  • stormy16 on July 1, 2011, 12:42 GMT

    Strange call really - I thought this Franklyn was just begining to show signs of something special and they get rid of him. I also thought NZ didnt do him justice by making him bat too high up the order and he needs to the new ball regulalry. Oram is surely a spent force and I guess it was either Oram or Franklyn and Oram got the nod.

  • on July 1, 2011, 11:50 GMT

    Franklyn is turning into a Shane Watson and you cut him from our side!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • on July 1, 2011, 11:46 GMT

    How the hell can we not have Franklyn??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Woodcock, Wattling and Oram don't deserve contracts!!!!!

    Adam Milne, Grant Elliot and Brent Arnel should replace Woodcock, Wattling and Oram

  • on July 1, 2011, 11:12 GMT

    I say Franklin should use his Irish passport to play county cricket and make a push for Ireland...he'll get a good four years with them once he qualifies

  • on July 1, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    Franklin should be in there for sure. Todd Astle should be tried as a leg spinner(he also used to open the batting) and i thought Grant Elliot who averages 43 in ODIs was a little unlucky especially now Styris is gone.

    BJ Watling should be dumped( i can play spin better than him and im rubbish) Woodcock is just a bits and pieces player he goes alright in T20s but hes not good enough really.

    Broom and Nicol have earned spots but Broom was given a long chance last time and acheived nothing.

    I like Flynn back in there. Hes a gritty player and NZ cricket lacks tough batsman at test level. He can whack it too

  • Finn92 on July 1, 2011, 10:36 GMT

    Shocking decision, won't be surprised if he turns his back on NZ cricket. How can they drop him when he was just putting in some consistent performances in and keep Oram who plays one game and misses the next 5?

  • on July 1, 2011, 9:11 GMT

    Looks like NZ cricket board has received some tips and ideas from PCB and WICB and some from Aus cricket board as well. The drop outs team is becoming stronger day by day ::: LEFT OUT FOR NO REAL REASON XI : 1. CH Gayle, 2. Simon Katich, 3. Shahid AfridI, 4. James Franklin 5. Danish Kaneria, 6. Jerome Taylor, 7........... Team Manager : LALIT MODI

  • Ozcricketwriter on July 1, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    Silly, silly decision. Franklin was doing so well.

  • on July 1, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    Why Contract Oram when he will only be fit for 1 or 2 games a year? Also i don;t see any major changes here, most of the players swapped in and out are bench players anyway. Also don't critisize reece young he looked QUITE GOOD in his debut series with both gloves and bat, certainly a better batsman then Hopkins. Might be another year with no test wins because the side is missing 1 genuine test opener. Guptil can fill one spot, but unless McCullum can open with him in tests i can't see anyone else suitable, maybe reece young should open

  • stationmaster on July 1, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    Frankin is a great lefty to bring on when you want things changing up - just liek Sidebottom did for ENG, apart from Franklin can really bat as well. Yet they have no other replacement for him ! Grant Elliot must be gutted also, but gun to the head, I'd have to pick Franklin in my side - limited overs warrants picking match winners. Franklin will win you a match.

  • Munsta101 on July 1, 2011, 8:29 GMT

    I can understand them not giving any "points" to Franks in the longer format - but his ability to finish a game off in T20 - and to bat anywhere in an ODI should have given him enough "points" to get a contract.

    I do feel sorry for Woodcock as he will now be labelled as the man who took away Frank's contract and be a target for Frank's legions of fans in NZ and Mumbai.

  • graemenz on July 1, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    yeah agree with alot of the selections there , think broom deserves a shot at test level at 6, where he should have been , not floated around in one dayers which isnt his speciality , agree de boorder should have been given a go , reece young isnt that young and de boorder would have been a better long term and young has only had 2 tests so why not blood another younger player for experience , woodcock is a shocker would have gone for todd astle give him a crack, i think martins got one more year in him , to be replaced immediately by wagner..... good desicion on trent boult be good to see how he goes , i think theres a couple of better young bowlers than him though , matt henry , milne , and the other canterbury left armer would pip him i think

  • muski on July 1, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    Buchanan will do to NZ what he did to KKR or what Greg Chappell did to Indian Team. The sooner he is thrown out the better for NZ Cricket. John are you listening mate?

  • on July 1, 2011, 6:08 GMT

    Really?! Drop James Franklin?! He'd be one of the first names on my teamsheet! As a middle order bat, useful back-up bowler, and good fielder... You don't have many of those around nowadays! And Reece Young? BJ Watling? Luke Woodcock?!?! Woodcock is the biggest waste of space I've seen in an NZ shirt for about 10 years!

  • donda on July 1, 2011, 5:35 GMT

    There is nothing wrong these days for not getting the contract. Play IPL for 2 months, earn hundred of thousands of dollars and live happily.

    I don't think its bad decision for Franklan because he is earning a lot in IPL.

  • Aristotle01 on July 1, 2011, 5:26 GMT

    this sis quite surprising ... greatbatch believes that with new players he will be able to get newer and better results ... i do not think so .. nz rely heavily on a few players and franklin was one of their key players in fact the player in best personal form at the moment.... and he has been a good performer in the squad... if they wanted to cut someone out.. chris marting could have bee a good option... he is way past his prime and hold no future really... quite absurd decision making.

  • howizzat on July 1, 2011, 5:16 GMT

    What about Redmond and Grant Illiot? Franklin should have been retained as ODI specialist.What about the second wicket keeper?

  • anver777 on July 1, 2011, 5:08 GMT

    I don't understand NZ cricket at all !!!!! cutting an all rounder like Franklin & including Neil Broom in the contracted list who had not performed in international level in the past... BIG ???

  • Prakhs on July 1, 2011, 4:53 GMT

    Strange it is.. Given teh current situation of NZ cricket, they need stable players and James is one of those on whom they can rely. I guess there is some aussie dictating terms in the NZ camp.. Hehe Is it Buchanan, oh it could be :)

  • gothetaniwha on July 1, 2011, 4:33 GMT

    James Franklin misses out , and Woodcock in ? are you kidding me ! hes on the wrong side of 30 ,and we dont need another spinner , Vettori the test spinner , Mccullum the ODI and 20/20 , if we need another one Nicol can do job plus he,s a far better batsmen ,

  • on July 1, 2011, 4:20 GMT

    They should have given Derek de Boorder a contract.

  • Tomek on July 1, 2011, 4:10 GMT

    I mean really, it's not like New Zealand don't have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to a guy who can open the bowling left-handed and still be assured of being able to hit real runs. And at 30 he's over the hill as well. And it's not like he was committed to the cause, giving up a very comfortable decade of playing county cricket to trying his guts out for his country.

    Oh, and my name is Albert Einstein and my mother was a frog.

  • SRT_GENIUS on July 1, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    They should play Franklin an an allrounder.... that guy can seriously belt.

  • v_singh on July 1, 2011, 3:54 GMT

    Pretty strange decesion - though I do no follow NZ cricket much... But whatever little I had seen from Franklin over last one year should have been enough to earn him a contract atleast (or did he hit all his good scores on dead wickets ? - not sure) and he is just 30... so IF he performs, he still has 5-6 years left in him...

  • yetigoat on July 1, 2011, 3:40 GMT

    Franklin out? Woodcock in???????

  • MinusZero on July 1, 2011, 3:37 GMT

    i am glad they dropped McIntosh, it was well overdue

  • on July 1, 2011, 3:33 GMT

    I am very disappointed for James. He deserves a place in the NZ team. Lets hope the other guys called in can make a good go of it. Daniel Flynn has potential to be a bit of a grinder, and I am not sure about Rob Nicol...but I think Boult is an exciting prospect for us.

  • on July 1, 2011, 2:42 GMT

    Franklin currently is the best batsman of NZ, he was not in the team.....lol.....

  • on July 1, 2011, 2:18 GMT

    James Franklin along with Scott Styris are the only Players who have represented kiwis in more than 100 games over a decade,not giving contracts to them is the decision NCB has to rethink over their Strategy

  • Amit_4_Sachin on July 1, 2011, 1:51 GMT

    Too harsh on James. I don't believe NZ have a better lower order batsman than him.

  • on July 1, 2011, 1:32 GMT

    Niel Broom should be batting at 5 or 6 for NZ in all forms of the game - he has a great first class record and has been shunted around the order and in & out of team on the few chance he's been given - c'mon NZC give him a fair go and he'll reward you!

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  • on July 1, 2011, 1:32 GMT

    Niel Broom should be batting at 5 or 6 for NZ in all forms of the game - he has a great first class record and has been shunted around the order and in & out of team on the few chance he's been given - c'mon NZC give him a fair go and he'll reward you!

  • Amit_4_Sachin on July 1, 2011, 1:51 GMT

    Too harsh on James. I don't believe NZ have a better lower order batsman than him.

  • on July 1, 2011, 2:18 GMT

    James Franklin along with Scott Styris are the only Players who have represented kiwis in more than 100 games over a decade,not giving contracts to them is the decision NCB has to rethink over their Strategy

  • on July 1, 2011, 2:42 GMT

    Franklin currently is the best batsman of NZ, he was not in the team.....lol.....

  • on July 1, 2011, 3:33 GMT

    I am very disappointed for James. He deserves a place in the NZ team. Lets hope the other guys called in can make a good go of it. Daniel Flynn has potential to be a bit of a grinder, and I am not sure about Rob Nicol...but I think Boult is an exciting prospect for us.

  • MinusZero on July 1, 2011, 3:37 GMT

    i am glad they dropped McIntosh, it was well overdue

  • yetigoat on July 1, 2011, 3:40 GMT

    Franklin out? Woodcock in???????

  • v_singh on July 1, 2011, 3:54 GMT

    Pretty strange decesion - though I do no follow NZ cricket much... But whatever little I had seen from Franklin over last one year should have been enough to earn him a contract atleast (or did he hit all his good scores on dead wickets ? - not sure) and he is just 30... so IF he performs, he still has 5-6 years left in him...

  • SRT_GENIUS on July 1, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    They should play Franklin an an allrounder.... that guy can seriously belt.

  • Tomek on July 1, 2011, 4:10 GMT

    I mean really, it's not like New Zealand don't have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to a guy who can open the bowling left-handed and still be assured of being able to hit real runs. And at 30 he's over the hill as well. And it's not like he was committed to the cause, giving up a very comfortable decade of playing county cricket to trying his guts out for his country.

    Oh, and my name is Albert Einstein and my mother was a frog.