Wellington have retained everyone they wanted - now they just have to keep them all happy.
All six major associations will announce the bulk of their 14 contracted players for next summer tomorrow. Some will have scratched for names, from about eight or 10 down, with Wellington having the opposite problem.
Seven Black Caps will be on their list, most of whom have played for New Zealand in the past 12 months, along with former Australian international Luke Ronchi.
"Top heavy" was how Cricket Wellington director of cricket Robbie Kerr aptly described their list. The players were emailed their contract offers yesterday and will know by the dollar amount exactly where that ranks them.
"It's really pleasing that all our guys are staying loyal to Wellington, when they perhaps could've received higher contracts elsewhere," Kerr said.
The top retainer is $37,500, down to $20,250 for the 14th-ranked player. Match fees are $1475 for a Plunket Shield game, $715 for one-day cricket and $460 for Twenty20.
In assessing a player's worth, four-day cricket gets double the weighting of the shorter forms. Past performance and potential are also considered, but it's hardly an exact science.
You could argue Ronchi is the best player on Wellington's books but, by virtue of coming largely sight unseen, he will be ranked "conservatively initially".
"It's only fair to our guys and to Luke himself not to throw him out there on a pedestal," said Kerr.
Jesse Ryder is another whose value is hard to gauge. He could be No 1, he could be 14, with a persuasive case to be made either way.
One certainty is that Wellington's list will contain a high proportion of older players. But Kerr was confident that the "rookie programme" that Tipene Friday, Scott Kuggeleijn, Michael Pollard and Craig Cachopa were part of last year would adequately cater to the young ones who miss the list.
Possible 14: Mark Gillespie, Andy McKay, Luke Ronchi, Jesse Ryder, Luke Woodcock, Jeetan Patel, Stephen Murdoch, Harry Boam, Grant Elliott, Josh Brodie, Michael Papps, Scott Kuggeleijn, Michael Pollard, Craig Cachopa.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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