Ensuring players sign central contracts top priority for new NZC chief executive Scott Weenink

Auckland, Aug 31 (PTI) Convincing senior players to don national colours with enough perks and promotion of Test cricket are on top of the agenda for New Zealand Cricket’s newly-appointed CEO Scott Weenink.

The former first-class player and NZ Cricket Players’ Association chair took over from David White. He will officially begin duties from Friday.

Weenink takes over at a time when increasing number of New Zealand players, including high profile ones like pace spearhead Trent Boult and all-rounders Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme, have foregone central contracts in order to pursue lucrative deals in various T20 leagues.

“I think one of the strengths of NZ Cricket has been the flexibility around the contracting,” Weenink said in a press conference.

“We need to recognise that players want to generate as much earnings for themselves during what is a short-term contract while also wanting to play cricket for New Zealand. It’s all evolving, so we need to try and keep on top of that, make sure that we’re giving players flexibility, but also really encouraging them to stay and play for New Zealand,” Weenink said.

Promoting Test cricket is also on Weenink’s agenda as he feels the traditional format will be vital in ensuring players are interested in playing for their country.

“I’m a Test cricket romantic but also I see Test cricket as being key to keeping players playing for New Zealand. I think if we didn’t have Test cricket, it’d be much harder to keep them interested in that. They’d simply, you know, come back and play an ICC [event).

“So absolutely, I’ll be looking to try and promote Test cricket while balancing the fact that we do need to play the higher revenue parts of the game as well.” New Zealand, under Kane Williamson, had defeated Indian to win the inaugural World Test Championships and Weenink believes the tournament will keep the players interested in playing for the country.

“It is that difficult balance of recognising that Test Cricket doesn’t make money, but it’s very important for the fans and very important for the players. I think the Test Championship has been a great addition. And that’s certainly going to keep the interest.

“It’s really just trying to balance out that revenue generation part of it while, you know, generally trying to play as much Test cricket as possible,” he added.

Source: PTI News


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