Following the retirement of BJ Watling, New Zealand Cricket have announced their yearly central contracts, which excludes left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel. However, instead of the two players, NZC have given the central contracts to all-rounder Daryl Mitchell and wicketkeeper Glenn Phillips.
On Thursday, New Zealand Cricket announced the list of 20-men who have been offered the central contract for the year 2021-22, the list which misses out on the names of BJ Watling and Ajaz Patel. While Watling announced his retirement earlier this week, Ajaz Patel, who has found himself out of favour in the Test side, has been axed.
Instead of the two, the cricket board named all-rounder Daryl Mitchell, who impressed in the Kiwi jersey over the last year, alongside Glenn Phillips, who has been a consistent part of the T20I setup for the BlackCaps. Earlier in the year, Mitchell scored his first Test century and followed it up with a century in the ODI format.
"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," commented selector Gavin Larsen after the contracts were announced, reported Cricbuzz.
Meanwhile, Larsen stated that left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel is in the reckoning, for Tests away from home, where the conditions are conducive for spinners.
"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."
New Zealand 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.