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More players might give central contracts for T20 leagues, hints NZ pacer Tim Southee

Three New Zealand players -- Trent Boult, Martin Guptill and Jimmy Neesham -- have so far given up their central contract to play in different leagues across the globe.

IND vs NZNew Zealand's Tim Southee (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

The assortment of T20 leagues, including the cash-rich IPL has entirely changed the landscape of cricket with more and more players inclined to forego their national contracts in lure of lucrative overseas deals, feels New Zealand pacer Tim Southee.

Three New Zealand players — Trent Boult, Martin Guptill and Jimmy Neesham — have so far given up their central contract to play in different leagues across the globe.

“It has been an interesting last few months where the landscape of cricket has changed, quicker than most thought,” Southee said ahead of Wednesday’s third ODI against India.

“I am contracted to New Zealand Cricket at the moment and I’ve been back to the IPL (Indian Premier League) this year and we’ll see what happens over the coming years. But it’s definitely changing the landscape of cricket to what it was two-three years ago.” Southee will turn up for Kolkata Knight Riders in 2023 IPL season.

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Southee, himself, remained non-committal about the possibility of following the footsteps of his teammates and stepping away from his national contracts.

“I haven’t looked too far ahead, to be honest. There’s enough cricket to come in the coming months to worry about before having to look too far ahead. But it’s something all players are trying to stay with and think about in the moving landscape of the game,” he said.

Southee took three wickets in the first one-dayer against India to become the first bowler in the world to take 300 Test, 200 ODI, and 100 T20I wickets.

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“It is special because no one has done it before. When you finish your career and when you look back, hopefully be proud what you have achieved. I enjoyed my time and hopefully have many years to go and few more wickets as well.” Southee said he wants to continue playing all three formats.

“The body feels pretty good at the moment. So (will continue) as long as I can still handle juggling all three and still being able to perform at the level I need to at this level. I love playing all three formats, so hopefully can do that for a wee bit while longer,” he said.

The 33-year-old also attributed the contribution of long-serving strength and conditioning coach Chris Donaldson.

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“You have to keep looking at ways to get better. Having played for a while, you have experience on your side – good experience, but also bad experiences, so just trying to stay with the times and trying to stay a step ahead.

“Always looking at improving your game. Each time you turn up to training is an opportunity to walk away a better cricketer.” New Zealand are leading the three-ODI series 1-0 after the second game was washed out.

First published on: 29-11-2022 at 13:11 IST
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