Wellington: Four new players were added on Tuesday to New Zealand's elite group of 20 contracted cricketers who will form the basis of Black Caps squads over the next year.
Nathan McCullum, Andy McKay, B.J. Watling and Kane Williamson have replaced Neil Broom, Ian Butler, Daniel Flynn and James Franklin.
Allrounder Scott Styris also returns after missing a contract last year and replaces the now retired Shane Bond while Daryl Tuffey remained on the list after being reinstated following Iain O'Brien's mid-season retirement.
"Nathan, Andy and BJ have all made important contributions to New Zealand teams over the past 12 months without having central contracts," national selection panel spokesman Mark Greatbatch said in a statement. They have now earned their positions within the contracted players list.
Kane Williamson is a young player whose pedigree is impeccable in terms of cricket development and we are now confident that he can step into the international arena and further advance his game.
New Zealand players are ranked by the selectors against set criteria in respect of Test cricket, one-day and Twenty20 internationals and the top 20 are offered contracts.
Greatbatch said players who missed out on contracts can still play their way into the New Zealand side through their performances in the domestic cricket competition.
Contracted players Brent Arnel, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Gareth Hopkins, Chris Martin, Brendon McCullum, Nathan McCullum, Tim McIntosh, Andy McKay, Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram, Jeetan Patel, Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee, Scott Styris, Ross Taylor, Daryl Tuffey, Daniel Vettori, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson.