With the major moves having been forecast, there wasn't much about the announcement of domestic cricket's contracts list that would have surprised anyone.
Auckland featured in all the notable transfers, with Roneel Hira and Jeet Raval leaving for Canterbury and Central Districts, respectively, and Reece Young going home after two seasons of commuting to Christchurch.
The best pickup might prove to be Raval. A player of genuine talent who boasts a useful first-class average of 36.90, the opening batsman hasn't always enjoyed the favour of Auckland's selectors.
But he will get plenty of cricket at the Stags.
"Our philosophy is we'll give guys an opportunity to succeed, rather than just give them a couple of opportunities to fail. So it's really about taking a long-term view," CD coach Alan Hunt said.
Hunt himself is an Aucklander who has found a home in Hawke's Bay, treading the same path as former Stags such as Martin Crowe, Mark Greatbatch and Lance Hamilton. Carl Cachopa and Tarun Nethula are more recent playing examples and a useful marketing tool, Hunt said.
Raval was the one to approach CD about a move, but only after talking to Nethula first.
Raval and Cachopa are among the seven players to receive a CD contract for the first time. Northern Districts quick bowler Andrew Mathieson is another, along with homegrown players Marty Kain, Dean Robinson, Ben Smith and William Young.
Having five players on the national contract list, plus the retirements of Michael Mason and Peter Ingram, meant CD had a few spots to fill.
Wellington had a different issue this year, given James Franklin is their sole New Zealand-contracted player.
That made their list easy to pick and all the anticipated names were among the 13 players they named yesterday.
Teams had the choice of naming between nine and 13 of the eventual 14 contracted players. ND opted for nine, with everyone else going with 13.
Wicketkeeper Peter McGlashan was the notable absentee from ND's list.
He has retired from all cricket and will instead work for a foundation set up by multimillionaire Owen Glenn.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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