Wellington: New Zealand cricket (NZC) have discarded four batsmen from their roster of 20 contracted players, following poor batting performances by the Test side in recent series.
NZC panel headed by Sir Richard Hadlee has awarded central contracts to a hoard of rookies. The first timers include: right-hand batsman Aaron Redmond, attacking batsman Jesse Ryder, all-rounder Tim Southee and Daniel Flynn.
Matthew Bell, Craig Cumming, Michael Papps and Stephen Sinclair will not be offered New Zealand contracts for the year starting in June, reflecting the selectors' frustration with the batting lineup.
Included for the first time in the list of contracted players released Monday were batsman Aaron Redmond, rewarded for averaging over 40 runs an innings in domestic first class cricket.
Also winning contracts were Daniel Flynn, who debuted for New Zealand in Twenty20 and one-day matches during the recently-ended season, Jesse Ryder and Tim Southee.
Ryder averaged 49 in his debut one-day series against England in February but nearly threw his chance for an international career away after cutting his hand smashing a nightclub toilet window at the end of the one-day series.
The injury ruled him out of cricket for two months, putting him in doubt for a return one-day series in England starting in June.
Pace bowler Tim Southee made a sensational start to his career in the third Test against England, smashing 77 off 40 balls in New Zealand's fastest ever Test 50, and taking five wickets in England's first innings.
Coming back under contract is former opener James Marshall, who averages 23.7 in Test cricket.
The list of contracted players largely reflects the one-day and Test squads named earlier this month for the tour to England starting in late April.
Players who missed out on contracts can still play their way into the team through domestic first class performances, New Zealand team manager Lindsay Crocker said.
Daniel Flynn, James Franklin, Peter Fulton, Mark Gillespie, Gareth Hopkins, Jamie How, James Marshall, Chris Martin, Michael Mason, Brendon McCullum, Kyle Mills, Iain O'Brien, Jacob Oram, Jeetan Patel, Aaron Redmond, Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee, Scott Styris, Ross Taylor and Daniel Vettori.