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The meteoric rise of the lucrative franchise cricket across the globe has already made many players question’ their commitment towards the national team, and while the jury is still out on the much-debated topic, Mitchell McClenaghan has given the critics yet another reason to point fingers towards the players.
The New Zealand fast-bowler has controversially rejected a central contract in order to ply his trade for T20 franchises across the world.
An integral part of New Zealand’s limited-overs team, McClenaghan requested the board to terminate his contract so that he can play in South Africa’s T20 Global League and Big Bash League in Australia. The left-arm pacer is currently playing for St Lucia Stars in the Caribbean Premier League.
“Some new playing opportunities have arisen in the past few weeks which mean my circumstances have changed,” McClenaghan said in a New Zealand Cricket (NZC) release.
“I’m very grateful for the respect, understanding and goodwill which has underpinned my request to be released from my NZC contract,” he added. “I’ve worked closely with NZC throughout the process, while also making it clear I still harbour ambitions of playing for New Zealand in the future.”
The 31-year-old was also signed by Durban Qalanders on Sunday (August 27) for his services in the inaugural T20 Global League which begins on November 3. The tournament clashes with New Zealand’s premier first-class tournament – the Plunket Shield and the T20 Super Smash.
As McClenaghan was centrally contracted, he was required to feature in New Zealand’s domestic matches when he wasn’t on national duty and would have needed a no objection certificate (NOC) or terminate his contract to play in T20 tournaments. He has also played for Mumbai Indians, Middlesex, Auckland Aces and Lancashire.
Meanwhile, the pacer can still feature for the Black Caps and earn match fees but would not be a part of New Zealand’s High-Performance Programme.
“We have to recognise that, as the T20 game matures, specialists will want to explore the different opportunities that become available – and I think Mitch’s case is symptomatic of that,” Bryan Stronach, NZC general manager high performance, said.
“This agreement has been reached amicably and mutually; all parties understand the change in Mitch’s circumstances, and he is released from his contract with our best wishes,” he added.
McClenaghan, who was a prolific wicket-taker in the last two IPLs, has represented New Zealand in 48 ODIs and 28 T20Is since his debut in 2013, taking 82 and 30 wickets, respectively.