A contract doesn't guarantee selection this summer so Manawatu products Dane Cleaver and Roald Badenhorst will have to work for a spot in the Central Districts lineup.
All-rounder Badenhorst picked up the last contract and wicketkeeper Cleaver missed out but CD coach Alan Hunt still sees them both as options to play for this upcoming season.
Badenhorst will be used mainly as a bowler, probably as a third seamer, even though he opened the bowling at times last season.
"He did enough [last year] to suggest he could do a job for us if we need him to," Hunt said. "The reality is having a contract doesn't mean a place in the side. Roald's aware of that. Roald has some all-round skills and his development could play a part in different format. He did well enough to earn that."
Badenhorst, as well as young Northern Districts paceman Andrew Mathieson, have been contracted this year to build depth in the bowling stocks which were depleted through injury last season.
"It's not just an injury issue," Hunt said.
"Adam Milne could come under the eye of New Zealand selection, being in the 30-man Twenty20 [World Cup] squad."
There isn't a contracted keeper on the 14-man list so Cleaver should feature when Kruger van Wyk is on Black Caps duty.
"Our test players could be available for the four-dayers," Hunt said. "That might open up an opportunity for the shorter format players.
"[We're] really relying on what happens with New Zealand firstly."
Hunt said competition was important in their group and there should be plenty between van Wyk, Cleaver and Whanganui batsman Ben Smith, who is an option to wear the gloves this season.
"He [van Wyk] could be available for eight four-dayers," Hunt said, "speaking to [Black Caps coach] Mike Hesson and knowing Kruger. Mike Hesson's keen for test players to remain active.
"Kruger wants to be busy. There will still be opportunities for the players like Dane Cleaver to compete for a spot and over the shorter format when Kruger's away.
"That was the deciding issue around Roald."
Hunt said that when it came to the contract list it wasn't a case of picking a team but picking people who could do a job.
CD may see Black Caps captain Ross Taylor for one Twenty20 game, but CD players in the national squad won't be playing in the HRV Cup Twenty20 competition.
They may be available for parts of their Plunket Shield campaign, but Hunt was happy with the group of players he had.
"We've got the best we can at the present time. We're still a bit light in spin bowling department without Tarun [Nethula]. Our backup is a work in progress."
Nelson off-spinner Marty Kain is the only contracted spinner to cover for Black Cap Nethula.
- Manawatu Standard
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