New Zealand's provinces announced their first round of contracted players on Wednesday. ESPNcricinfo brings you all the major movements ahead of the upcoming 2022-23 season.
WellingtonWellington have lined up Adam Milne to fill in the Hamish Bennett-sized void after the 35-year-old quick retired from all formats of cricket following the last season. After being part of Central Districts for more than a decade, since his debut in March 2010, Milne will now work under head coaches BJ Watling and Bruce Edgar at Wellington. He joins Logan van Beek and Ben Sears in a potent seam-bowling group.
Milne has not played red-ball cricket since October 2018, but he did not rule out the possibility of a return, for Wellington. He, however, added that, given his history of ankle and elbow injuries, workload management would be given priority. Milne is now fit again after having been sidelined from his IPL 2022 stint with Stephen Fleming's Chennai Super Kings with a hamstring injury.
"I think it happens in sport all around the world, but particularly with my history, it's important to manage my expectations and the team's expectations of how much cricket we are playing," Milne said. "But I'll try and play as much as I can. I think it's again assessing how I'm feeling after games or from a week-to-week and if the body is saying that it needs a rest and that's possible with the team... Obviously, [I'm] trying to keep myself in the best of shape to play as much cricket as I can."
In another move, Wellington have roped in batter Nick Kelly from Otago. The Victoria-born top-order batter also brings with himself CPL experience, having been part of St Kitts & Nevis Patriots.
Wellington's first-round contracted players: Finn Allen, Jakob Bhula, Luke Georgeson, Troy Johnson, Nick Kelly, Iain McPeake, Adam Milne, Ollie Newton, Rachin Ravindra, Tim Robinson, Ben Sears, Michael Snedden, Nathan Smith, Logan Van Beek, Peter Younghusband
Auckland's first-round contracted players: Adithya Ashok, Cole Briggs, Mark Chapman, Louis Delport, Danru Ferns, Ryan Harrison, Ben Horne, Simon Keene, Ben Lister, Robert O'Donnell, Will O'Donnell, Sean Solia, Will Somerville, Ross ter Braak, George Worker
Central DistrictsMilne's departure has stripped CD of experience and firepower, but they have signed up a promising prospect in Brett Randell, who has moved from Northern Districts. Randell was the joint-highest wicket-taker in last season's Plunket Shield, with 31 strikes in six games at 14.83. Randell's entry boots a pace attack that has been further depleted by the injury-enforced absence of Ben Wheeler.
CD's first-round contracted players: Doug Bracewell, Tom Bruce, Josh Clarkson, Dane Cleaver, Joey Field, Greg Hay, Jayden Lennox, Seth Rance, Brett Randell, Brad Schmulian, Ben Smith, Blair Tickner, Ray Toole, Bayley Wiggins
Canterbury's first-round contracted players: Cole McConchie, Chad Bowes, Matt Boyle, Leo Carter, Sean Davey, Cam Fletcher, Zak Foulkes, Mitch Hay, Ken McClure, Ed Nuttall, Will O'Rourke, Fraser Sheat, Henry Shipley, Theo van Woerkom, Will Williams
Northern DistrictsTim Pringle, the son of former New Zealand seamer Chris Pringle, has been handed his first Northern Districts contract. The left-arm spin-bowling allrounder was recently part of a New Zealand XI that faced a touring Netherlands side in a one-day fixture in March earlier this year. More recently, Tim made his international debut for Netherlands, where he was born, dismissing Liam Livingstone with a beauty.
ND's first-round contracted players: Joe Carter, Katene Clarke, Kristian Clarke, Henry Cooper, Matt Fisher, Zak Gibson, Brett Hampton, Scott Kuggeleijn, Bharat Popli, Tim Pringle, Jeet Raval, Tim Seifert, Fred Walker, Joe Walker, Anurag Verma
OtagoIn one of the major moves of the season, Glenn Phillips has shifted south to Otago from Auckland to reunite with his younger brother Dale. Glenn's contract will not count towards Otago's domestic contracts as he is already part of NZC's central contracts list. This is another opportunity for Glenn to bowl more in domestic cricket and establish himself as an allrounder. He can also keep wicket although a back condition has limited that skill in the recent past.
Otago's first-round contracted players: Matt Bacon, Max Chu, Jacob Cumming, Jacob Duffy, Dean Foxcroft, Jake Gibson, Andrew Hazeldine, Ben Lockrose, Jarrod McKay, Travis Muller, Dale Phillips, Michael Rae, Michael Rippon, Hamish Rutherford
Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo