Auckland, May 27 (IANS): New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has made wholesale changes to the side that failed to perform in the ICC Women's World Cup at home earlier this year, including half-a-dozen new cricketers in the new list of contracted players for 2022/2023.
The list of 17 contracted players includes the already internationally-capped duo of Fran Jonas and Molly Penfold, besides 2022 World Cup squad member Georgia Plimmer. Nensi Patel, Eden Carson and Izzy Gaze. They have been offered contracts on the back of fine domestic seasons.
After Katey Martin announced her retirement last week, and with Amy Satterthwaite following after she was told she would not receive a central contract, Lea Tahuhu, Frankie Mackay, Leigh Kasperek and Thamsyn Newton were also omitted from this year's list, in a big shift towards young players.
NZC general manager of high performance, Bryan Stronach, said that the decisions were difficult and uncontracted players were still available for national team selection, though the country's cricket governing body was looking at the young group.
"It's never easy coming up with a final 17 players," Stronach was quoted as saying by ICC. "Having said that, we're excited about the six new faces receiving contract offers, several of whom already have some White Ferns experience under their belt.
"To be in a position in which we're genuinely considering the credentials of a wider pool of players can only be viewed as a positive for the women's game."
While the door may not be necessarily closed on the senior players omitted, Stronach admitted the listed group will likely be given preference in the next year.
"They have given their all; have made great sacrifices, and retain our absolute respect," he said. "This is about having on contract the players we're most likely to use during the next 12 month period."
The White Ferns are two months from their 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games. The ICC Women's T20 World Cup is also to be played in February next year, with the changes providing the best evidence that the side will bear little resemblance to the team that bowed out during their home 50-over campaign in late March.
Players offered central contracts for 2022/2023: Suzie Bates, Eden Carson, Sophie Devine, Lauren Down, Izzy Gaze, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Hayley Jensen, Fran Jonas, Jess Kerr, Amelia Kerr, Rosemary Mair, Jess McFadyen, Nensi Patel, Molly Penfold, Georgia Plimmer, Hannah Rowe.