Allrounder Jimmy Neesham has been omitted from New Zealand Cricket’s list of contracted players for the first time in three years, making way for Wellington off-spin allrounder Michael Bracewell.
The 31-year-old Neesham played 12 Tests, 66 ODIs and 38 Twenty20 internationals and batted with Martin Guptill in the super over which settled the 2019 World Cup final against England.
Neesham missed New Zealand’s ODI series against the Netherlands and recently was permitted by New Zealand Cricket to concentrate on his involvement in the Indian Premier League.
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Bracewell made his ODI debut against the Netherlands in March and recently was included in the New Zealand Test team to tour Britain.
He is included for the first time on the list of 20 contracted players released by New Zealand Cricket on Friday.
Spinner Ajaz Patel, who took 10 wickets in an innings against India in December to become only the third player to do so in a Test, returns to the list after being omitted last season.
“Finalising the list seems to get tougher by the year,” head coach Gary Stead said.
“The busy international calendar means we’re calling on a wider base of talent these days and the likes of Michael Bracewell is testament to the depth of that talent.
“Michael’s been consistently performing on the domestic circuit for seasons now and we certainly see him as an international prospect in all three formats.
“It’s great to see Ajaz back on the list after narrowly missing out last season. His value as our leading red-ball spinner is clear and we’re excited to see the role he could play in the Test team going forward.”
NZ contracted players: Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson, Will Young.