Mitchell McClenaghan released from NZC central contract

BLACKCAPS paceman Mitchell McClenaghan has been released from his New Zealand Cricket (NZC) central contract in order to pursue a pathway in overseas T20 leagues. The 31-year-old left-armer this week submitted a request for his contract be terminated so he could be considered for the new Global T20 competition in South Africa and this summer s Big Bash League in Australia. Following discussions with McClenaghan, Auckland Cricket, and the New Zealand Players Association, NZC has granted his request. The South African competition runs from early November to December 16, while the BBL starts on December 19 and ends with its play-offs and final in the first week of February. NZ vs ENG 2017-18: 1st Test at Auckland to be played under lights

McClenaghan said a lot had happened since he was offered an NZC contract in late June. Some new playing opportunities have arisen in the past few weeks which mean my circumstances have changed. I m very grateful for the respect, understanding and goodwill which has underpinned my request to be released from my NZC contract. I ve worked closely with NZC throughout the process, while also making it clear I still harbour ambitions of playing for New Zealand in the future. Kane Williamson: Joe Root, Steven Smith are very effective T20 players

NZC GM High Performance Bryan Stronach said he respected McClenaghan s decision to pursue a pathway in which he has experienced considerable success. We have to recognise that, as the T20 game matures, specialists will want to explore the different opportunities that become available and I think Mitch s case is symptomatic of that, he said. New Zealand s Tom Pritchard passes away at 100

This agreement has been reached amicably and mutually; all parties understand the change in Mitch s circumstances, and he is released from his contract with our best wishes. Like all other non-contracted New Zealand players, McClenaghan will remain eligible for BLACKCAPS selection, even if unavailable.

Since his debut in 2012, McClenaghan has played 28 T20s and 48 One Day Internationals for the BLACKCAPS. He has also represented the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League; St Lucia Stars in the Caribbean Premier League, and England county T20 side, Middlesex. McClenaghan s place on the list of 21 contracted players will be offered to fellow Auckland paceman, Lockie Ferguson.