New Zealand Cricket (NZC) introduced domestic contracts for women’s cricketers during the 2019/20 season as part of the Women’s Master Agreement that was announced in August 2019. Nine players with CDCA contract will be provided financial support to compensate for their playing time through the season.
17-year-old Kumar was named the Central Hinds Emerging Player of the Year during the last season. She made her Super Smash debut last year as an injury replacement and played two matches for the Hinds. She also played one match in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield during the last season.
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Jamie Watkins, Central Hinds coach, welcomed her inclusion as one of the nine domestic players to be contracted and named her as an exciting talent for the future.
“Ashtuti is in Year 12 at Palmerston North Girls’ High, and is a very exciting prospect,” Watkins said. “She has been identified nationally by having been included in NZC Development squad sessions over this winter, and will be pushing for more game time this season after having made her debut in both formats for the Hinds last season.”
Natalie Dodd, who earned her maiden central contract this year, Rosemary Mair and Hannah Rowe are the three centrally contracted New Zealand players in the squad. Allrounder Jess Watkin, who was part of the New Zealand tour to Australia, has a development contract with NZC. Kumar's addition in place of Baxter means 13 players will continue to have a contract with the Hinds side.
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“It's very satisfying from a Central Districts perspective to be able to have such continuity — having an almost identical contracted list to last season, with the only change being Ashtuti,” Watkins added.
“Along with our four NZC-contracted players, a total of 13 Central Hinds now sit in the contracted environment, and it makes for a strong and consistent group who will challenge each other to keep growing the Hinds’ performances in both formats.”
NZC central contracts: Hannah Rowe, Rosemary Mair, Natalie Dodd
NZC development contracts: Jess Watkin
Central Hinds contracts: Georgia Atkinson, Emily Cunningham, Claudia Green, Mikaela Greig, Melissa Hansen, Monique Rees, Kerry Tomlinson, Anlo van Deventer, Ashtuti Kumar