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Mitchell and Phillips offered BLACKCAPS contracts for first time

Canterbury all-rounder Daryl Mitchell and precocious Auckland Aces star Glenn Phillips have been offered national contracts for the first time following breakout seasons for the BLACKCAPS.

The pair are the only new faces on the 20 strong national contract list, with the players nominated having until May 22 to accept or decline their offers as per NZC’s Master Agreement with the New Zealand Cricket Players Association.

Mitchell reeled off his maiden Test and ODI centuries and played his part across all three formats this international summer, while Phillips made the T20 arena his own, smashing 366 runs at a 40.6 average, including an exhilarating 46-ball century against the West Indies at Bay Oval in November - the fastest by a New Zealander in T20I history.

Test specialist Ajaz Patel has not been offered a New Zealand contract for the coming season after coming onto the list for the first time last year, while BJ Watling has also been omitted after confirming his impending retirement from all cricket.

Selector Gavin Larsen praised the strength and depth of the 20 strong list.

“I’d like to congratulate all the players offered agreements for the coming season and in particular newcomers Daryl and Glenn. Receiving your first national contract is a great moment in any player’s career and both thoroughly deserve their elevation.

“There’s no question Daryl and Glenn took their games to another level over the summer and have added to the growing depth of talent we now enjoy.

“The BLACKCAPS achieved unprecedented success, going through the season unbeaten for the first time ever and it was encouraging to see guys like Kyle Jamieson and Devon Conway performing so well after receiving their first contracts last year.

“After such a successful summer in which we used a variety of players across the three formats, there was always going to be a squeeze on for positions and, unfortunately, Ajaz has been a victim of that success.

“He missed the start of the Test season with his calf injury and was unable to make it back into the side during a summer in which seam and swing dominated. However, we are well aware of Ajaz’s value as a frontline spinner, particularly in overseas conditions and he’s therefore still very much in our thinking going forward.

“I’d also like to acknowledge BJ Watling and his immense contribution to the BLACKCAPS,” Larsen added.

“He has been an integral member of our Test unit for many years now and his performances put him right up there with the world’s best wicket-keeper batsmen. But for me, it is more than just his on-field performance. BJ is a superb team member who extols the virtues of our “Team First” ethos and has been a marvellous ambassador for our game.”

In compiling the list of offers, an NZC contract review group, managed by GM High Performance Bryan Stronach, considered a range of factors including performances over the past 12 months and future playing value.

As part of the formal contracting procedure, the NZCPA were consulted and confirmed the process, as outlined in the Master Agreement, was adhered to.

The first round offers of the 96 men’s domestic contracts by the six Major Associations will be confirmed by June 21.

Players offered national contracts for 2021-22: Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, James Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson, Will Young.

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