South African-born Devon Conway handed New Zealand central contract
Devon Conway, who emigrated to New Zealand in 2017, has been fast-tracked into the country's cricket set-up after being announced as one of three new inductees in the Black Caps' 20-member contracted squad.
South African-born Conway is not yet eligible to play for New Zealand as he will complete the three-year residency rule by August this year but his form has been been "impossible to ignore" admitted chief selector Gavin Larsen.
The 28-year-old batting prodigy averages over 47 in first-class cricket and topped the domestic batting charts last season including a record score of 327 not out.
Conway's promotion in the batting ranks has left no room for Test opener Jeet Raval and white-ball specialist Colin Munro. Both individuals have suffered a loss of form in international cricket, prompting the selectors to make this drastic decision.
Meanwhile, Todd Astle's retirement has allowed Ajaz Patel to reestablish his spin credentials as he has been awarded a contract. Patel was the leading wicket-taker during New Zealand's tour of Sri Lanka in August 2019 as the visitors managed to draw the series 1-1.
Kyle Jamieson had an impressive debut outing against India at home earlier this year where he exploited his tall stature to bamboozle the opposing batsmen with extravagant bounce and swing.
"Devon's form with the bat across all three formats these past two seasons made him impossible to ignore and he's going to be a great option to add to the batting mix," Larsen said.
"Kyle's performances against the might of India were nothing short of outstanding and at 25 years of age, he's certainly got a big future.
"We see Ajaz as the incumbent Test spinner at present and he'll be looking to stamp his mark on that spot after some superb efforts with the ball in the sub-continent."
New Zealand contracted players
Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, James Neesham, Ajaz Patel, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson, Will Young