North Shore all-rounder Simon Keene has been awarded his first domestic contract after a stellar season for the ACES in 2021/22. Recently named the Young Cricketer of the Year 21/22, Keene lit up the domestic circuit and finished with 25 wickets in his first five First-Class matches for Auckland.
Director of Talent and Performance, Daniel Archer is excited to have Keene’s talent and strong work ethic to add to the ACES setup.
“Simon (Keene) is an exciting player and certainly showed his capabilities by the way he burst onto the domestic scene last season. Two of his strongest qualities are his hard-working attitude and team-first approach both on and off the field.
“He is very deserving of his first domestic contract and I’m excited by what he will bring to the team environment at Auckland Cricket.”
The 22-year-old is the only new addition to the first round of domestic contracts. Archer stressed the importance of creating a strong team environment built around key individuals from 21/22 which will contribute to the team’s successes.
“Stability and investment in the core playing group that we have currently is really important for us. We are excited by the player list we have assembled and are confident that the contracted and wider squad of the ACES will provide a strong core to tackle the upcoming domestic season.
“We know that every year it takes more than the 16 contracted players to contribute across the duration of the demanding domestic season. We are excited by the quality of players across our entire squad and know that they will all contribute to making the ACES an enjoyable and successful programme.”
Head Coach Doug Watson is “fizzed and excited” to get back together and connect with the ACES group again.
“We have a great mix of youth and experienced players in our squad who have tasted success together. I can’t wait to build on that and hopefully develop some more BLACKCAPS.”
One more player will be added in the second round of contracts (early July), while Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, and Kyle Jamieson were all awarded BLACKCAPS contracts in May.
ACES first-round contracts 22/23:
Ross ter Braak