New Zealand announce development contracts for eight cricketers

Katie Gurrey. © Getty Images

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) have announced development contracts for eight cricketers for the 2020-21 season on Tuesday (August 18).
NZC introduced Development Contracts for the first time during the 2019-20 as part of its commitment to further invest in the women’s game. One of the criteria for the selection to the list is the players potential to play for New Zealand in the future and earn a central contract with the side.
“It’s exciting to see a new wave of women’s cricketers coming through our Major Association system,” said Ant Sharp, Head of Women’s High Performance.
“These contracts are about giving up-and-coming female cricketers a chance to develop their games by utilising the best coaching resources in the country.”
From last year’s list Natalie Dodd, who has played 18 internationals for New Zealand, and Jess Kerr, who made her debut during the series against South Africa 2020, have been omitted as they have earned central contracts for the upcoming season when NZC announced the list of 17 centrally contracted cricketers on June 2.
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19-year-old Skye Bowden and batter Jess Watkin have retained their development contracts from the last season. Watkin scored 385 runs from 9 matches in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield 2019-20 and 275 runs in the Super Smash T20 competition.
Medium-pacer Bella Armstrong, who finished as the leading wicket taker in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield with 24 wickets, has earned her first development contract. 16-year-old Fran Jonas is the youngest player in the list. She took 7 wickets in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield and 6 wickets in the Super Smash with her left-arm spin during her debut season in 2019-20.
“Fran is most definitely a promising young cricketer with a calm, relaxed temperament,” said Nick White, Auckland Hearts Head Coach.
“She has a fluent, economical action and an excellent work ethic and this is sure to be a great opportunity to continue her development in the game. For us as coaches it’s about ensuring we look after not just her cricket but also her well-being. She’s still a 16-year-old and we need to be mindful of that as she progresses with her cricket.”
“Fran is perfect for this programme. We get to learn more about her as a person as well as developing her already exciting skill set,” Sharp added.
Development Contract List for 2020-21: Bella Armstrong, Skye Bowden, Rebecca Burns, Eden Carson, Katie Gurrey, Fran Jonas, Jacinta Savage, Jess Watkin.