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Boult, De Grandhomme departure makes way for Finn Allen & Blair Tickner

Tickner has participated in six ODIs and eleven T20s for the Black Caps, while Wellington batsman Allen, 23, has previously featured in eight ODIs and thirteen T20s for his nation.

SNS | New Delhi |

Blair Tickner, the tall right-arm pace bowler, and Finn Allen,  top-order limited-over hitter who occasionally keeps, have received their first New Zealand Cricket (NZC) central contracts, thus replacing the positions left open by the departures of veteran all-arounder Colin de Grandhomme and New Zealand’s pace spearhead Trent Boult.

Tickner has participated in six ODIs and eleven T20s for the Black Caps, while Wellington batsman Allen, 23, has previously featured in eight ODIs and thirteen T20s for his nation.

In addition to playing in the most recent series in the West Indies and Australia, Allen also participated in New Zealand’s tours of Ireland, Scotland, and the Netherlands.

New Zealand coach Gary Stead said each of the newcomers to the central contracts list had been close to the top-20 announced in May, and had taken their opportunities in the interim.

“Blair’s been in Black Caps squads for all three formats over the past 12 months, which is testament to his progress,” Stead was quoted as saying by New Zealand Cricket (NZC).

“He’s a bowler who just keeps improving and we’ve been particularly impressed with his red-ball development, which saw him in the recent squads for the England and South Africa Tests. He knows the environment, understands his role, and bowls with good pace and aggression.”

Stead said Allen deserved his promotion on the basis of the skill-set he offered, and the form demonstrated so far.

“Finn clearly has huge talent and potential,” he said. “He’s shown he’s up to the international level in his limited opportunities to date. In particular, his match-winning 96 against West Indies on a difficult wicket in Barbados showed his class and maturity.”

New Zealand 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.

As with other non-contracted players, Neesham will still be considered for New Zealand selection when available.

(inputs from IANS)