The international careers of Colin Munro and Jeet Raval are looking grim after the duo were overlooked for renewed Black Caps contracts this year for a batsman who hasn’t even represented New Zealand yet.
Devon Conway has been added to the Black Caps payroll before even playing a match for them as one of 20 contracted for the 2020-21 season as one of three changes made to the overall squad by coach Gary Stead and co-selector Gavin Larsen.
Along with Conway, pace giant Kyle Jamieson and spinner Ajaz Patel all earned their first contracts while Munro, Raval and Todd Astle - who retired from first-class cricket in January - fall off the list.
Injury-plagued batsman Will Young managed to retain his spot despite a frustrating 2019, meaning he’s still available for an international call-up as well.
Conway will become eligible for Black Caps selection in August, three years after leaving Johannesburg and settling in Wellington.
Since then, the left-handed top-order batsman has put forward an unignorable case for selection with the Firebirds.
The 28-year-old was named men’s domestic player of the year two seasons running and pulled off the impressive feat of topping the run charts in all three formats in 2019-20 with almost 1800 runs.
Larsen said they simply couldn’t go past him.
“Devon’s form with the bat across all three formats these past two seasons made him impossible to ignore and he’s going to be a great option to add to the batting mix.”
Larsen added Jamieson and Patel had also made compelling cases for selection over the last 12 months.
“Kyle’s performances against the might of India were nothing short of outstanding and at 25 years of age he’s certainly got a big future.
“We see Ajaz as the incumbent Test spinner at present and he’ll be looking to stamp his mark on that spot after some superb efforts with the ball in the sub-continent.”
Larsen didn’t however comment on the departures of Raval or Munro.
Raval’s struggles at the top of the order were well-documented throughout last year and cultivated in his axing for the Boxing Day Test last December while Munro, once considered a top T20 opener, has struggled with consistency and was dropped from the ODI squad last year.
Black Caps contracts 2020-21: Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, James Neesham, Ajaz Patel, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson, Will Young.