AUCKLAND: Former Kiwi men's cricketer Grant Elliott feels that several women stalwarts, whose names did not figure in the latest list of contracted players released by New Zealand Cricket (NZC), should have been given prior notice to allow them to prepare for their future after international cricket.
Several White Ferns stalwarts, such as Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahuhu, Frankie McKay, Leigh Kasperek and Thamsyn Newton, did not figure in the latest list of contracted payers, with people in the know saying they had been excluded following New Zealand's dismal performance in the ICC Cricket World Cup at home earlier this year.
The White Ferns failed to make the semifinal grade in the prestigious eight-team tournament, despite being the favourites. Australia won the tournament for a record seventh time beating England in the final at Christchurch.
NZC general manager of high performance, Bryan Stronach, has said that the decisions were difficult and uncontracted players were still available for national team selection, though the country's cricket governing body was looking at the young group.
Satterthwaite was the first White Fern who announced her retirement after she reportedly came to know that her name didn't figure in the latest contracted list of 17 players.
The 43-year-old Elliott, who played five Tests, 83 ODIs and 17 T20Is, said on SENZ's The Saturday Session that, "Having someone like Amy Satterthwaite, one of only two left-handers in New Zealand cricket, I thought that was a surprise, and that's probably the biggest surprise... someone who has had an amazing career.
"But I think the thing that disappoints me the most is that they felt like they were blindsided by it. I don't think the players deserve to have a send-off game, (but) what I see is that players need to know. It's how you deliver it, and preparing those players for it. They make a lifestyle decision on being a professional cricketer, and as a woman professional cricketer, that's pretty tough as well because sometimes you have to work two jobs," opined Elliott.
Of the 17 players named in NZC's contract list, six are first timers.
"I listened to a number of players that had been left out and Frankie McKay, she was particularly vocal about it, obviously disappointed," Elliott said.
"I understand the contract system having been through it myself. You preview the year, so you look at the schedule, and you see how much or what diet of cricket there is. The women obviously do not play Test matches, but they play ODIs and T20s.
"There was going to be a huge diet of T20 cricket with the World Cup and Commonwealth Games as well, so a lot of those players that missed out on the contract... (it came down to) the perceived input and involvement they'd have during T20s. They (NZC) didn't see them being involved that much obviously, so they failed to get a contract. That's fine, it is what it is," Elliott was quoted as saying.