Image courtesy of: Zimbio
New Zealand spinner Todd Astle has been included on the list of centrally contracted players for the first time in his career.
Astle has impressed with the ball in both Tests and ODIs, while in the latter format, he also has a highest score of 49.
The 31-year-old leg-spinner is the only newcomer in the list.
“Todd’s progress over the past 12 months has been exciting to see. When fit, he made the most of his opportunities in both Test and ODI cricket,” New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “We have a big summer ahead; we know Todd performs well in New Zealand conditions, and we also have a spin-friendly tour against Pakistan coming up.
“Between Todd, Ish and Mitchell our spin bowling stocks have probably never looked better.”
Meanwhile, all-rounder James Neesham and batsman Neil Broom have been removed from the list of centrally contracted players.
Neesham last represented New Zealand in June last year, while Broom hasn’t played international cricket since December 2017 due to a poor run of form.
“Jimmy and Neil didn’t show the consistency required over the past year and we’d like to see them go back and demand our attention again through domestic performance,” Larsen said.
List of contracted players: Corey Anderson, Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson, George Worker