New Zealand's Anton Devcich has opted out of a domestic contract in favour of playing around the world as a T20 freelancer. The 32-year old batsman is currently part of the Toronto Nationals in Canada and struck an unbeaten 92 off only 44 balls to lead them to a sensational win on Thursday.
According to reports, Devcich is also trying to finalise a deal with a Big Bash League team, which may have contributed to his declining a first-round contract handed out by Northern Districts earlier this month. The BBL, which runs from December to February, clashes with New Zealand's own T20 competition, the Super Smash.
"My goal is to represent the Black Caps and to do that I need to improve and gain more experience in pressure situations," Devcich said in a statement, but added that he will still play for Northern Districts on a match-by-match basis depending on his availability.
"Although I will not be contracted I am still extremely dedicated to the association, they have been very supportive of my decision and have always led the way in all aspects of cricket in NZ."
Devcich has experience playing on the worldwide T20 circuit, having previously represented Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League and Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League. He also top-scored in the Super Smash last year with 343 runs in 10 innings as Northern Districts won the title. His left-arm spin had been quite useful as well, helping him pick up 15 wickets.
Meanwhile, an already established T20 freelancer, Mitchell McClenaghan was offered a second-round contract by his current team Auckland. The 32-year old fast bowler had opted out of a deal with New Zealand Cricket in 2017 so that he could play in the various T20 leagues and has been part of a title-winning Mumbai Indians side in the IPL, the Sydney Thunder in the BBL, St Lucia Stars in the CPL and Lancashire in England's T20 Blast. He was most recently part of a World XI that took on West Indies in a charity T20I at Lord's.
Auckland: Finn Allen, Michael Barry, Graeme Beghin, Jamie Brown, Craig Cachopa, Mark Chapman, Danru Ferns, Michael Guptill-Bunce, Ben Horne, Ben Lister, Mitchell McClenaghan, Matt McEwan, Robbie O'Donnell, Glenn Phillips, Sean Solia, Will Somerville
Canterbury: Chad Bowes, Jack Boyle, Blake Coburn, Leo Carter, Andrew Ellis, Cameron Fletcher, Andrew Hazeldine, Kyle Jamieson, Ken McClure, Cole McConchie, Stephen Murdoch, Ed Nuttall, Fraser Sheat, Henry Shipley, Will Williams, Theo van Woerkom
Central Districts: Doug Bracewell, Tom Bruce, Josh Clarkson, Dane Cleaver, Greg Hay, Christian Leopard, Willem Ludick, Ryan McCone, Ajaz Patel, Navin Patel, Seth Rance, Bevan Small, Ben Smith, Blair Tickner, Ben Wheeler, Will Young
Northern Districts: James Baker, Peter Bocock, Dean Brownlie, Henry Cooper, Sean Davey, Matthew Fisher, Daniel Flynn, Zak Gibson, Brett Hampton, Nick Kelly, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Bharat Popli, Brett Randell, Tim Seifert, Joe Walker
Otago: Matt Bacon, Warren Barnes, Neil Broom, Mark Craig, Jacob Duffy, Josh Finnie, Shawn Hicks, Josh Tasman-Jones, Anaru Kitchen, Michael Rae, Mitch Renwick, Michael Rippon, Hamish Rutherford, Nathan Smith, Christi Viljoen, Brad Wilson
Wellington: Hamish Bennett, Tom Blundell, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Andrew Fletcher, Lauchie Johns, Iain McPeake, Jimmy Neesham, Ollie Newton, Malcolm Nofal, Jeetan Patel, Rachin Ravindra, Ben Sears, Logan van Beek, Luke Woodcock, Peter Younghusband