The Economist got the ball rolling last week with a few questions he would like to ask the selectors - so his are included below, along with a few more...
1. How does Gareth Hopkins get a central contract and then not get selected as the backup wicketkeeper for Test cricket - especially when Reece Young has been playing as a specialist batsman for Auckland because Hopkins was doing the keeping? Young is a top bloke, as is Hopkins, but the whole thing seems a bit odd. The problem is in the contracting system itself as Hopkins is seen as a Test and ODI player so gets a ranking in both, but Young and Peter McGlashan are seen as specialist first-class and T20 players respectively.
2. How does Brent Arnel get a central contract one week and then not get selected at all? This looks like an admission that the returned prodigal son High Tower Tuffey deserved some NZC money.
3. How did Grant Elliott get back in the frame for Test cricket? On The BYC podcast, Kev is on record as calling him "third party, fire and theft", in reference to the fact that he is there as insurance for when our batting top order fails or when the bowlers are getting smashed. His presence is also a safety net for the fragility of Jacob Oram.
4. Why were James Franklin, Tim Southee, Aaron Redmond and Scott Styris singled out as the scapegoat for NZ's underwhelming Twenty20 World Championships performance? They have been axed but they were far from alone as the underperformers on that particular tour.
5. Why did Nathan McCullum not get a contract?
6. As Southee has gone from spearheading the Emerging Players XI to not making the New Zealand squad, is he better described as a submerged player?
7. Why did the New Zealand A selections not take into account the performances of the Emerging Players XI set to play Twenty20 and one-day matches against the emerging players' squads of South Africa, India and Australia this month? Only five emerging players have made the A squad, while Reece Young has made it one step further.
8. What about poor young Trent Boult? He has gone from making the ODI squad to being lost somewhere in the wilderness.
9. Does anyone believe the line that Franklin is better off playing English county cricket rather than turning out for New Zealand A? Better off in terms of pounds earned for Gloucestershire, certainly (and good on him), but it looks as if Franklin has been axed and told he wouldn't be close to being on the next flight into Sri Lanka even if he was in India with the A team.
10. How can Styris go from hero to zero so quickly? Or was he asked but too gutted to join the New Zealand A squad? Once he gets his NZC non-objection certificate (freeing him from his NZC ties despite having been contracted in the past two years) he will become our latest globetrotting rent-a-cricketer.
11. How did Craig Cumming win the Test selection lottery ahead of Michael Papps and Peter Ingram, then neither of the other two made the A squad either? Based on State Championship cricket last year it was a very close-run thing - pardon the pun - with Cumming returning 784 at an average of 65, Papps close behind with 719 at 60, and Ingram second only to Mathew Sinclair in terms of runs scored with 884 at 63. Ingram is certainly not over the moon about the whole thing, saying: "I rang John Wright and asked what the story was and he hummed and ha-ed for a bit. He said just to keep scoring runs and I was unlucky. I was just the guy who missed out. Yeah, it is [a bit frustrating]. I've scored 2500 runs at 55 in the past three year, so I don't know."
12. Is Ian O'Blogger no longer regarded a limited-overs bowler - have we totally given up on him on that front? Not a bad replacement appears in Shane Bond admittedly, and perhaps on another day the spin triumvirate we have selected would not be required and Dr Cox would be in the squad.
13. Shouldn't Son of Rodney, Aaron Redmond, have made the limited-overs squad? He was one of the few batsmen to show some form in England, and was good enough to make the XI ahead of Neil Broom. He has been rewarded with an axing from the national squad and a trip to India with Peter Fulton.
14. If Indian-born legspinner Tarun Nethula makes the team as the top wicket-taker in the State Championship, shouldn't the top run scorer also make the side? Probably, except that his name was M Sinclair (with 904 runs to his name).
15. Mark Gillespie, wherefore art thou? He told the Dominion Post the day the paperwork was announced: "Fingers crossed I get contracted. I think I'm on the way back to fitness. I should be fit."
16. Michael Mason, wherefore art thou also? He told the Manawatu Evening Standard that it was "pretty disappointing" to find out he hadn't made the contracted list, having been there from 2005-2008. It's only a little thing, but having his father tell him the bad news rather than hearing it from the selectors directly is callous. Look out for him if you're playing football in and around Mangatainoka - more here.
New Zealand (Test): Craig Cumming, Grant Elliott, Daniel Flynn, Martin Guptill, Chris Martin, Brendon McCullum, Tim McIntosh, Iain O'Brien, Jacob Oram, Jeetan Patel, Jesse Ryder, Ross Taylor, Daryl Tuffey, Daniel Vettori and Reece Young.
New Zealand (Limited overs): Shane Bond, Neil Broom, Ian Butler, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Gareth Hopkins (ODIs), Brendon McCullum, Nathan McCullum, Peter McGlashan, (T20), Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram, Jeetan Patel, Jesse Ryder, Ross Taylor, Daniel Vettori.
New Zealand A: Brent Arnel, Shane Bond, Neil Broom, Brendon Diamanti, Peter Fulton, Gareth Hopkins, Jamie How, Peter McGlashan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Tarun Nethula, Aaron Redmond, Tim Southee, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson.
NZ Emerging Players: Nick Beard, Hamish Bennett, Te Ahu Davis, Peter Fulton, Colin de Grandhomme, Anaru Kitchen, Tarun Nethula, Jeet Raval, Lance Shaw, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson, George Worker, Reece Young.
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