New Zealand news July 5, 2013

Vettori turns down NZC contract

ESPNcricinfo staff

Daniel Vettori's playing future is unclear after he decided not to take up a New Zealand Cricket contract this year due to uncertainty over his recovery from injury. Vettori said he intended to work hard to return to playing over the next six months, following surgery on his Achilles tendon, but the doubt about when he would regain full fitness led him to take himself out of the mix for either an NZC contract or a deal with Northern Districts.

Vettori, 34, had surgery following the recent Champions Trophy, at which he made his comeback to one-day internationals for the first time in nearly two and a half years. He has not played Test cricket for nearly a year, since the series in the West Indies last July, and although he hopes to add to his 112 Test appearances and 360 wickets, his playing future will only be determined after his recovery from surgery is complete.

"I am very focused on my recovery from my recent surgery and will be working hard to get back onto the playing field over the next six-month period," Vettori said. "Given the time I'll need to spend out of the game with my recovery, and the level of uncertainty about when I may play again, it doesn't feel right that I take up a retainer contract this year. I will now focus on my rehabilitation in the coming months, with the overall goal of making a return to the cricket field during the summer months. Hopefully it goes well.

"I'm really hopeful the surgery is the final effort to get it right, and speaking to the surgeon, he's pretty confident he could get it right," Vettori said. "He's dealt with similar sorts of injury in the past and had guys come back to full sporting activity, so let's just hope it works.

"I suppose it's been a real grind the last 18 months with the injury and in a lot of ways it has probably diminished some of the appetite to do a lot of things but I think that's purely down to the injury so ... if I can get this injury right, who knows. This has been unlike anything else I've had to deal with in the past. I just want to get it right then the future will crystallise after that."

David White, the NZC chief executive, said: "In the ICC Champions Trophy Dan showed the immense value that he still brings to the Black Caps side. Unfortunately Dan has indicated he's in a position where he feels uncomfortable taking a contract this season, as he builds towards making a return to the cricket field.

"As always, Dan has made his decision in the best interests of New Zealand Cricket and we appreciate his honesty and up-front approach. There's no doubting Dan's hunger to continue competing, and we hope to see him back playing for the Black Caps again when the time is right."