The first round of Auckland Aces contracts are out for the 2018/19 season with an exciting mix of youth and experience set to take the field in the baggy blue.
Included in the first 12 contracts for Auckland is off-spinner Will Somerville who comes from playing First-Class cricket in New South Wales, Australia.
Born in Wellington, Somerville made his First-Class debut in Otago and joins the Auckland ranks eager to get the ball in his hand.
“Having chatted with Mark O’Donnell, there was an opportunity for a spinner with Auckland and I was very excited about the possibility of coming back to New Zealand,” Somerville says.
“He’s a spinner that will play all three formats. I remember him from his time in Otago but more recently he’s had to sit behind Nathan Lyon and Steve O’Keefe at New South Wales. The fact he asked for an early release from his contract just emphasises his desire to play here in New Zealand.” O’Donnell says.
“He’s played Big Bash and played First-Class cricket so I don’t think much will phase him. We just need a bit of experience going in support of our young seamers,” he says.
Somerville is also optimistic about the upcoming season and says he’s ready to return home.
“I know Auckland has a talented young group of players and that’s an exciting thing to be a part of. I look forward to getting over and meeting them all,” Somerville says.
“I’ve got some great mates in Auckland also which helps, particularly having a young family,” he says.
Besides the new off-spinner the initial Auckland contract list has a familiar feel to it with the remaining eleven players all representing Auckland last season.
The bowling attack return having proved they could foot it with the competition’s best, while the batting lineup features some young but already experienced players.
“These are guys that have come through our system and have done well at certain points. This season we are looking for more out of this group of talented young players,” O’Donnell says.
Auckland will release the remaining four contracted players on the 30th of June.
Auckland Aces contracts (first round)
*Tarun Nethula only available for One Day/T20 cricket.