Dynamic mix of talent announced in Aces contract list

The Auckland Aces have announced their 13 contracted players for the upcoming 2017/18 domestic season with a strong blend of youth and experience in the group.

The Aces have added to their bowling stocks with Matt McEwan joining the side from Wellington.

“McEwan offers some stability in our bowling unit, he is hugely talented and we have heard great things about his attitude on and off the field so we believe he will be a good fit with the group we have,” says Aces coach Mark O’Donnell.

With five players offered national contracts this season from Auckland, the association have been able to reward those younger players who showed promise in 2016/17.

“It was fantastic to have five players given national contracts, which shows the strength of cricket in Auckland. Throughout the winter a number of our young players who had a breakthrough season last year were courted by other associations. We are delighted that we have been able to keep the nucleus of the squad together. This group of players bring a strong mix of youth and experience to the table with the majority returning from last season,” says Professional Cricket Manager Simon Insley.

“It was particularly pleasing last season to see youngsters like Sean Solia, Mark Chapman and Glenn Phillips step up and prove themselves at the domestic level. The challenge for them now is to build consistency and grow on last season’s potential,” says O’Donnell.

While the side has lost last season’s skipper, Rob Nicol, they are looking at his move as a chance to develop the leadership skills of the younger players.

“We wish Rob Nicol all the best down in Otago, his departure now gives our younger players a chance to step-up in a leadership capacity, it is a genuinely exciting era for this association.,” says O’Donnell.

Auckland Aces contracted players

Michael Barry

Mark Chapman

Lockie Ferguson

Donovan Grobbelaar

Michael Guptill-Bunce

Ben Horne

Matthew McEwan

Robert O’Donnell

Tarun Nethula

Aniket Parikh

Glenn Phillips

Raja Sandhu

Sean Solia

NOTE: The contracting process for domestic players involves two rounds, with each team contracting a total of 15 players overall. The Major Associations can offer between nine and 14 contracts at their discretion in the first round, ahead of completing the process with second round contracts – to be offered on July 26 and finalised by July 31.

The two-stage contracting process ensures increased competition for the final contracts offered at Major Association level, and helps ensure the best players are contracted throughout the country.

**An announcement regarding captaincy will be made by Auckland Cricket in the coming weeks.