16 May 2018

Todd Astle gets NZ Cricket contract

6:56 am on 16 May 2018

All-rounder Jimmy Neesham and batsman Neil Broom have been cut from the list of centrally contracted New Zealand cricketers with Canterbury's Todd Astle offered a contract for the first time.

Todd Astle celebrates taking the final wicket of James Anderson in New Zealand's first test win.

Todd Astle celebrates taking the final wicket of James Anderson in New Zealand's first test win. Photo: Photosport

Bowling all-rounder Astle is one of 20 players offered Black Caps contracts for 2018-19, one less than the 21 last year.

While a new Master Agreement between NZC and the New Zealand Cricket Players Association has yet to be finalised, an agreement has been reached to allow the contracting process to take place in a timely fashion.

31 year old Astle is the only new player in this year's offered list.

The Black Caps selector Gavin Larsen said Astle certainly featured in the selectors' plans for the next 12 months.

"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," said Larsen.

"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."

Larsen said there were some tough calls, but the door remained open for those who missed out.

"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.

"We'll continue to monitor the progress of a number of fringe players, who will have the chance to continue to push their case through the NZA programme and home domestic season."

Accepted contacts will come into effect from 1 August 2018.

The players offered BLACKCAPS contracts:

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.