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Gillespie misses out on New Zealand contract

Brydon Coverdale

June 20, 2012

Comments: 18 | Text size: A | A

Mark Gillespie celebrates a wicket, New Zealand v South Africa, 2nd Test, Hamilton, 2nd day, March 16, 2012
Mark Gillespie made a fine return to Test cricket but it wasn't enough to earn him a national contract © Getty Images
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The fast bowler Mark Gillespie has missed out on a national contract despite being New Zealand's leading wicket taker in their most recent Test series. New Zealand have named their 20 contracted players for 2012-13 and five new names have appeared on the list for the first time - Dean Brownlie, Doug Bracewell, Andrew Ellis, Tarun Nethula and Kruger van Wyk - while James Franklin has regained his deal after being cut last year.

But the inclusions meant there was no room for Gillespie, 32, who made his return to international cricket in March having not played for New Zealand in more than three years. He proved the value of his recall by collecting 11 wickets in the Test series against South Africa, despite playing only two of the three Tests, and only South Africa's Vernon Philander had a more productive series.

New Zealand Cricket uses a set criteria to rank its players across all three forms of the game, with Test cricket given twice the weighting of ODIs and Twenty20 internationals. But that wasn't enough to put Gillespie, who is currently battling an ankle injury, in the top 20.

Kim Littlejohn, the national selection manager, said the contracted players were those likely to add the greatest value to the national side over the next year. Littlejohn and the NZC director of cricket John Buchanan were the men in charge of awarding contracts this year, with the outgoing coach John Wright not taking part in the process.

As reported last month, Jesse Ryder did not have his contract renewed, and the other men who lost their existing deals were Hamish Bennett, who missed all of last season due to back surgery, Neil Broom, Andy McKay, Luke Woodcock and Reece Young. Michael Bates, Ronnie Hira, Graeme Aldridge, Brent Arnel, Colin de Grandhomme, Jeetan Patel and Tom Latham all played for New Zealand during the past year but did not win a contract.

New Zealand contracted players for 2012-13

  • Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Dean Brownlie, Andrew Ellis, Daniel Flynn, James Franklin, Martin Guptill, Chris Martin, Brendon McCullum, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Tarun Nethula, Rob Nicol, Jacob Oram, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Kruger van Wyk, Daniel Vettori, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson

"We have five new contracted players and their addition reflects the strong performances they have put in over the past 12 months and the value they are expected to bring to the Black Caps this coming year," Littlejohn said. "It's an exciting time for the Black Caps with a number of important series in the 2012-13 season including the ICC World Twenty20 tournament.

"We believe the contracted players will be integral to the success of the team in what will be a demanding period against highly ranked opposition. There were some difficult decisions and it's disappointing for the players who did not have their contracts renewed. We are confident they will continue to work hard and look to force their way into the team through performance."

The players who missed out on national deals will now have to wait for major association contracts, which will be announced on July 22.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by ForgeNZ on (June 23, 2012, 5:38 GMT)

Rob Nicol is looking increasingly like a one innings wonder

Posted by   on (June 21, 2012, 7:42 GMT)

Oram is past his used by date and cannot hold a bat to save himself over the last year. Unfortunately NZ still has to put up with his poor chat on The Cricket Show. Ellis offers nothing to NZ cricket in the long term and likely at best will result as a C Grade Scott Styris contributor. Gillspie at least takes wickets, despite being expensive, unlike Ellis who offers 120kph nothings. Harry Boam will be in the squad within the next two years, heard it here first.

Posted by   on (June 21, 2012, 6:52 GMT)

Give Wagner a year before you give him a contract, he hasn't even played a game yet. Boult has earned his place in my eyes, he was a vital part of securing the first innings lead against Aus when we won, and only really had one bad innings, which was against SA. Plus, he's scored a lot of bonus runs. And I can see why Oram is still there, he is worth a lot with his bowling and can groom Ellis and Latham for the allrounder spots for the 2015 world cup.

Posted by anver777 on (June 21, 2012, 5:03 GMT)

After an excellent comeback, he should be awarded this contract...... at least for a year !!!

Posted by   on (June 21, 2012, 4:02 GMT)

Strange no Jesse Ryder..

Posted by   on (June 20, 2012, 21:50 GMT)

Scanning the results of Rob Nicol's last ten performances screams, 'give that man a contract'. Fairy godmothers are real? who knew.

Posted by   on (June 20, 2012, 19:44 GMT)

YES! James Franklin gets a contract!

Posted by wiseshah on (June 20, 2012, 13:59 GMT)

tarun nethula and andrew ellis is surprising. gillespie and ryder should get contract

Posted by Tillso on (June 20, 2012, 8:58 GMT)

Sounds about right for a Buchanan team, rely on numbers and not performances. Shameful when someone deserves a contract after coming back from 2 years of injury troubles to perform as well as he did agians one of eth best batting line ups in the world. Unfortunately numbers don't show the amount of effort Mark Gillespie has put in to get back to the top! Very Poor NZ Cricket!

Posted by   on (June 20, 2012, 8:12 GMT)

very unlucky for mark gillespie, what more can he do than take back to back 6 for's against south africa , very harsh.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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