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  5. Rachin Ravindra, Ben Sears offered maiden New Zealand central contracts, Adam Milne opts out

Rachin Ravindra, Ben Sears offered maiden New Zealand central contracts, Adam Milne opts out

Right-arm speedster Adam Milne has joined Kane Williamson and fellow pacer Lockie Ferguson in the list of Kiwi players who have declined a central contract. Left-arm seamer Trent Boult had declined a central contract earlier.

Written By: Kumar Rupesh @afiestysoul New Delhi Updated on: July 10, 2024 8:34 IST
Sir Richard Hadlee and Rachin Ravindra at New Zealand Cricket Awards 2024.
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES Sir Richard Hadlee and Rachin Ravindra at New Zealand Cricket Awards 2024.

Emerging batting sensation Rachin Ravindra has been rewarded for his breakthrough season in the international circuit as the southpaw has been offered his first New Zealand central contract.

Pacers, Will O'Rourke, Jacob Duffy and Ben Sears have also been offered their maiden New Zealand central contracts alongside Ravindra.

On the other hand, right-arm speedster Adam Milne has denied a contract and joined the list of Kiwis like Lockie Ferguson and Kane Williamson to do so.

Notably, fast bowler Blair Tickner has been dropped out of the 20 players offered a central contract by New Zealand Cricket (NZC) for the 2024-25 season.

The 35-year-old left-arm orthodox spinner Ajaz Patel has returned to the list after he was snubbed earlier.

Ravindra's inclusion in the central contract list doesn't come across as a major surprise as he has made rapid strides in international cricket lately. The 24-year-old finished as the leading run-getter for the Blackcaps at the ODI World Cup last year in India.

He had scored 578 runs at an astounding average of 64.22 and a strike rate of 106.44 with the help of three hundreds and two half-centuries.

His exuberant performance in 2023 was recognized by the International Cricket Council as he claimed the ICC Emerging Player of the Year 2023 in January. He was also honoured with the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal in March at the New Zealand Cricket Awards, becoming the youngest recipient of the prestigious award.

Ravindra expressed ecstasy on what he called a "pinch-myself moment" and mentioned that the "hunger to keep improving and giving to the Blackcaps" is burning brightly.

"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," said Ravindra in a press release issued by New Zealand Cricket.

"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."

New Zealand central contracts 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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