After Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme’s exit from New Zealand Cricket Central Contract, the buzz around cricket experts is expecting more players to take the same route.
Decorated Black Cap pacer, Trent Boult shook the cricket world with his sudden decision to exit the central contract of New Zealand Cricket. Unlike retirement, this move will reduce his chances of selection in the national team for international matches. He termed his decision difficult and said he wanted to put his family first. In his statement released by NZC, he further added,
“Ultimately this decision is about my wife, Gert and our three young boys. Family’s always been the biggest motivator for me and I feel comfortable with putting it first and preparing ourselves for life after cricket.”
Soon later, Colin de Grandhomme announced his retirement from international cricket by exiting NZC central contract. He had an agreement with the New Zealand Cricket Board and it has laid full support to Colin. His move came in after he was picked in the Big Bash League draft. 2 players exited NZC within a few weeks. He blamed his injuries and age for his decision. He said,
“I accept that I am not getting any younger and the training is getting harder, particularly with the injuries. I have a growing family and trying to understand what my future looks like post-cricket. All of this has been on my mind over the past few weeks.”
New Zealand Cricket unfazed by the departures
NZC’s high-performance General Manager, Bryan Stronach, was quoted saying,
“I don’t think there will be a mass exodus. We are pretty confident in our environment and how we are pretty adaptive in how we work with those players.”
They admitted their inability to compete with the other franchise league around the world. They also brushed off the perception of not being able to provide enough on a monetary level. Even though they have denied all the concerns, the clouds of fear of mass exodus still hover over NZC. Ever since Ben Stokes’s retirement from the ODI format, players, as well as experts, have been echoing their voices against the rigid schedule. The mental health of players especially after Covid bio-bubbles has gained mainstream coverage. In these uncertain times, players are slowly prioritizing shorter club cricket format. International cricket is said to be losing its charm. NZC as well as other national cricket boards cannot turn a blind eye to the situation.
It will be difficult for them to keep the players in the fold. The absence of a player of Boult’s stature is a huge dent in New Zealand Cricket. NZC needs to take steps and do some damage control to retain its players in international cricket. They also need to find deserving people to fill in these empty big shoes. Needless to say, NZC is in big trouble and the threat of other players following the footsteps of Boult and Grandhomme looms over their heads.
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