New Zealand discard failed openers

Wellington, April 14:

New Zealand’s cricket authorities have discarded four batsmen from their roster of 20 contracted players, following poor batting performances by the Test side in recent series.

Matthew Bell, Craig Cumming, Michael Papps and Matthew Sinclair will not be offered the contracts for the year starting in June, reflecting the selectors’ frustration with the batting lineup.

Included for the first time in the list of contracted players were batsman Aaron Redmond, rewarded for averaging over 40 runs an innings in domestic first

class cricket. Also winning contracts were Daniel Flynn, Jesse Ryder and Tim Southee.

Coming back under contract is former opener James Marshall, who averages 23.7 in Test cricket. The list of contracted players largely reflects the one-day and Test squads named earlier this month for the tour to England starting in late April.