ZB

Black Cap in search for new domestic team

Author
Andrew Alderson,
Publish Date
Tue, 14 Jun 2022, 10:02am
Jimmy Neesham. Photo / Photosport
Jimmy Neesham. Photo / Photosport

Black Cap in search for new domestic team

Author
Andrew Alderson,
Publish Date
Tue, 14 Jun 2022, 10:02am

Jimmy Neesham has decided to move from Wellington to pursue his cricketing fortunes in Auckland.

The only problem? He doesn't have a contract.

The all-rounder missed out on renewing his central deal with New Zealand Cricket last month and Auckland's list is already full.

Neesham said he made the move to be closer to his home town.

The 31-year-old is currently playing in England's domestic Twenty20 competition for Northamptonshire, having come from Rajasthan where the Royals franchise made the Indian Premier League final.

Regular travelling between Auckland and Wellington forced the decision.

"I'm not going to lie - it was a contributing factor. Commuting was manageable on an international contract, but makes no sense on a domestic deal.

"It was an amicable discussion with Wellington. Basically we agreed it was too difficult. There are no hard feelings."

So where to from here?

"I'll be training at Eden Park, or with Auckland, and hopefully we can have some discussions further down the track around playing opportunities. It's a long time until the start of the season.

"I want to look ahead at further opportunities overseas as well. This game has a funny way of surprising you in a few months, so we'll see what comes along."

Neesham was close to retiring before joining Wellington at the start of the 2018-19 season. He reignited his career, helping the Firebirds lift four domestic trophies across the three competitions and regaining his place in the Black Caps.

Neesham went on to play major roles in the 2021 T20 World Cup where New Zealand reached the final, and the 2019 ODI World Cup where he batted heroically in the Super over and secured the final run out to get them to that point.

"Hopefully I can still contribute to the team for the medium to long-term.

"I've also loved playing for Wellington over the last four years, and am thankful to the group for welcoming and seeing the vision we've wanted to create."

Cricket Wellington boss Cam Mitchell said they owed Neesham.

"Jimmy has been an integral part of the side that has experienced such success over the last four seasons.

"We've been so pleased to see Jimmy rediscover his love for the game, and he has gone on to show that he is one of the game's most talented all-rounders."

Tomorrow Wellington announce their first round of contracted players for next season.