Swashbuckling hitter Glenn Phillips and all-rounder Daryl Mitchell have been included for the first time in New Zealand Cricket’s list of centrally contracted players. Ajaz Patel, who has been included in the squad which will play against England, has been dropped from the 20-men list after just one year.
After much deliberation, New Zealand coach Gary Stead and selector Gavin Larsen decided who will be a part of the all-important list. They ranked players based on performances in all three formats, with tests receiving a double weightage.
Patel was excluded from the squad as he has been among injuries for most of the last domestic season. Phillips had an outstanding season in Twenty20 internationals. He scored 366 runs in 12 innings at an average of 40.66 and a strike rate of 185 in home series triumphs over the West Indies, Pakistan, Australia and Bangladesh.
Glenn smashed a magnificent century off just 46 balls against the West Indies, a record for a New Zealand batsman in T20 internationals. Moreover, Daryll Mitchell took over the all-rounder’s role in the New Zealand side in place of the injured Colin de Grandhomme. He scored a brilliant test century from 112 balls against Pakistan and a hundred from 92 balls in a one-day international against Bangladesh.
“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,”Larsen said.
The Kiwis have had a tremendous year in all formats of the game. Youngsters like Kyle Jamieson and Devon Conway have performed incredibly 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,”Larsen added.
New Zealand are set to take on India in the World Test Championship final, which will start on June 18.