Former Test fast bowler Mark Gillespie has been cut from Wellington's contract list, but both Gillespie and Wellington coach Bruce Edgar have left the door open for a possible return. New Zealand's six major associations have announced the players offered first-round domestic contracts for the 2015-16 summer, with Gillespie one of several former internationals missing from last year.
Wellington have lost former captain James Franklin, whose Irish ancestry has allowed him to sign as a local player for Middlesex, meaning if he was to play for Wellington it would need to be as an overseas player. Brendon Diamanti is gone from Canterbury's list, while Wellington fast bowler Andy McKay, Otago batsman Aaron Redmond, Central Districts batsman Jamie How and Northern Districts fast bowler Graeme Aldridge have all retired.
Gillespie, 35, has made no decisions on his future, but last summer played only three Plunket Shield matches for 11 wickets at 27.63. New Wellington coach Bruce Edgar said that although Gillespie was no longer contracted, he still had some hope of being selected during the season.
"We believe that Dizzy was off the pace last season and that he's slipped down the order behind other more effective bowlers," Edgar said in a statement. "That said, we want to work with Dizz to get him firing in time for the season. If that happens, then he's available to be selected like any other player and I'm sure he'll give it everything he's got."
Gillespie this week told stuff.co.nz: "I've made no decisions regarding my future. As far as I'm concerned, not getting a contract does not mean I am no longer a cricketer."
In other moves, Jesse Ryder has completed his return to Central Districts from Otago, as reported last week. Otago have been particularly active in their recruiting, with Neil Broom returning after one season at Canterbury, Anaru Kitchen and Warren Barnes having joined from Auckland, and Brad Wilson having moved from Northern Districts. Anurag Verma has moved from Northern Districts to Wellington.
Franklin is not the only player who has moved on due to county commitments: Central Districts allrounder Kieran Noema-Barnett is gone from their list after signing as a local player with Gloucestershire.
Several players have disappeared from the domestic lists after gaining New Zealand Cricket contracts, including Central Districts' Doug Bracewell, Northern Districts' Mitchell Santner, and Wellington's Grant Elliott. Colin Munro is back on Auckland's list after losing his national contract, while Ish Sodhi has reappeared on the Northern Districts list for the same reason.
Other notable additions include well-known coach Bob Carter's son Leo Carter, who has signed with Canterbury; Kane Williamson's cousin, the batsman Dane Cleaver, who has joined Central Districts; and Brisbane-born spinner Alecz Day, who has signed with Wellington and qualifies due to his mother being from New Zealand.
The contracting process involves nine to 14 players being offered deals as part of the first round, with the remainder of the 15-man squad to be confirmed by August 10.
Auckland Michael Bates, Brad Cachopa, Colin De Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Donovan Grobbelaar, Michael Guptill-Bunce, Shawn Hicks, Colin Munro, Tarun Nethula, Rob Nicol, Robert O'Donnell, Glenn Phillips, Matt Quinn, Jeet Raval
Canterbury Todd Astle, Hamish Bennett, Leo Carter, Andrew Ellis, Cameron Fletcher, Peter Fulton, Roneel Hira, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Johnston, Cole McConchie, Ryan McCone, Henry Nicholls, Edward Nuttall, Logan van Beek
Central Districts Tom Bruce, Dane Cleaver, Greg Hay, Marty Kain, Andrew Mathieson, Ajaz Patel, Seth Rance, Jesse Ryder, Bevan Small, Ben Smith, Kruger van Wyk, Ben Wheeler, George Worker, Will Young
Northern Districts Cody Andrews, James Baker, Jono Boult, Dean Brownlie, Joe Carter, Anton Devcich, Daniel Flynn, Brett Hampton, Jono Hickey, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Bharat Popli, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi
Otago Warren Barnes, Nicholas Beard, Michael Bracewell, Neil Broom, Derek de Boorder, Jacob Duffy, Ryan Duffy, Josh Finnie, Anaru Kitchen, Michael Rae, Hamish Rutherford, Craig Smith, Sam Wells, Brad Wilson
Wellington Brent Arnel, Brady Barnett, Tom Blundell, Alecz Day, Dane Hutchinson, Matt McEwan, Stephen Murdoch, Ollie Newton, Michael Papps, Jeetan Patel, Michael Pollard, Matt Taylor, Anurag Verma, Luke Woodcock