James Neesham declines New Zealand central contract

All-rounder James Neesham has turned down New Zealand Cricket’s (NZC) central contract on Friday. Meanwhile, Blair Tickner and Finn Allen have been added to the central contract list.

Neesham, who was omitted from the original central contract list earlier this year, was offered one of the available contracts after the departure of Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme. But the all-rounder turned down the offer having already signed agreements with overseas T20 tournaments.

“BLACKCAPS all-rounder Jimmy Neesham was offered one of the available contracts but declined – on the basis of pre-arranged agreements he had already struck with overseas domestic leagues,” NZC’s statement read. “As with other non-contracted players, Neesham will still be considered for BLACKCAPS selection when available.”

Neesham also explained his decision on Instagram.

“I know the news of my decision to decline a central contract today will be seen as me choosing money over representing my country,” Neesham wrote on an Instagram story. “I had planned to accept a contract offer in July, however since being left off the list I have committed to other leagues around the world. It was a difficult decision but I have decided to honour those commitments rather than go back on my word to re-sign with NZ Cricket.

“Playing for the [Blackcaps] has been the greatest honour of my career and I remain committed to taking the field with my countrymen for the foreseeable future, especially in pinnacle world events.”

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