Bracewell, Patel among New Zealand's contracted players

FILE - New Zealand's Ajaz Patel celebrates the dismissal of India's Mohammed Siraj during day two of their second test cricket match against India in Mumbai, India, Dec. 4, 2021. Patel, who is one of only three players to have taken 10 wickets in a test innings, will return to the New Zealand cricket team for its three-test tour to England in June 2022. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Allrounder Jimmy Neesham has been omitted from New Zealand Cricket’s list of contracted players for the first time in three years, making way for the Wellington off-spin allrounder Michael Bracewell.

The 31-year-old Neesham has played 12 tests, 66 one-day internationals and 38 Twenty20 internationals and batted with Martin Guptill in the super over which settled the 2019 World Cup final against England.

Neesham missed New Zealand’s one-day series against the Netherlands and recently has been permitted by New Zealand Cricket to concentrate on his involvement in the Indian Premier League.

Bracewell made his ODI debut against the Netherlands in March and recently was included in the New Zealand test team to tour Britain. He is included for the first time on the list of 20 contracted players released by New Zealand Cricket on Friday.

Spinner Ajaz Patel, who took 10 wickets in an innings against India in December to become only the third player to do so in a test, returns to the list after being omitted last season.

“Finalizing the list seems to get tougher by the year,” head coach Gary Stead said. “The busy international calendar means we’re calling on a wider base of talent these days and the likes of Michael Bracewell is testament to the depth of that talent.

“Michael’s been consistently performing on the domestic circuit for seasons now and we certainly see him as an international prospect in all three formats.

“It’s great to see Ajaz back on the list after narrowly missing out last season. His value as our leading red-ball spinner is clear and we’re excited to see the role he could play in the test team going forward.”


New Zealand list of contracted players: Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson, Will Young.


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