NZC CONTRACTS

Rachin Ravindra gets New Zealand Cricket central contract

by   •  Published on
Ravindra shone across formats for New Zealand
Ravindra shone across formats for New Zealand © AFP

Rachin Ravindra has been offered his first New Zealand Cricket contract a year on from being overlooked for the board's central retainership. A 20-player contract list also sees offers for Ravindra's Wellington teammate Ben Sears, Canterbury's Will O'Rourke and Otago's Jacob Duffy. Left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel was also added to the list after missing out on a contract during the previous calendar year.

Ravindra's inclusion was not a surprise after he emerged as the breakout star of the ODI World Cup in India, where he scored 578 runs. The 24-year-old then made his mark on the Test circuit by scoring 240 at Mount Maunganui against South Africa in February - the highest maiden Test century by a New Zealand batter. He also broke into the country's T20I squad and his rise was rewarded when he was named the ICC Emerging Player of the Year for 2023, and later became the youngest recipient of the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal at the New Zealand Cricket Awards.

"Growing up you'd see those contract lists come out each year and think it would be cool to be on that list one day - and for it to eventuate now is a pinch-myself moment," Ravindra was quoted as saying in an NZC release. "It's been a really cool past 12 months playing international cricket. I've learned a lot and the hunger is definitely there to keep improving and giving to the Blackcaps.

"It's such a special group to be in, from players to support staff - and that's been the most enjoyable part, to be honest. Playing a game you love with your mates for a living is something very special, and I hold it close to my heart."

Meanwhile, O'Rourke's contract offer came after a 12-month period in which he represented New Zealand in all three forms of the game. Sears, on the other hand, played 11 T20Is in the previous cycle before making his Test debut against Australia in Christchurch earlier this year.

Notable absentees in the list include Kane Williamson, Lockie Ferguson and Adam Milne. While the former two had previously excused themselves from a central contract, Milne also made himself unavailable for the coming season. Neil Wagner was left out after retiring from international cricket in February.

Players offered central contracts for 2024-25: Finn Allen, Tom Blundell, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Jacob Duffy, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Will O'Rourke, Ajaz Patel, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Ben Sears, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Will Young

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