Lea Tahuhu loses New Zealand contract; six new players included

Lea Tahuhu bowled ten boundary-less overs for three wickets ICC via Getty Images

Fast bowler Lea Tahuhu is among those who have been dropped from New Zealand's central contract list as six new players earn deals.

Confirmation of Tahuhu's omission from the 17 names came the day after her wife Amy Satterthwaite announced her retirement from international cricket when she was told she would not be handed a new contract.

Frankie Mackay, Leigh Kasperek and Thamsyn Newton are the other players who fall off the contracts list along with the retired Katey Martin.

The omission of 31-year-old fast bowler Tahuhu is significant given the point-of-difference she can bring to the attack with her pace. She was New Zealand's joint-leading wicket-taker at this year's ODI World Cup - alongside Mackay - with 10 wickets.

The players receiving contract offers for the first time comprises Auckland Hearts trio Fran Jonas, Molly Penfold and Izzy Gaze, offspinners Nensi Patel (Northern Brave) and Eden Carson (Otago Sparks), and Wellington Blaze batter, Georgia Plimmer.

Bryan Stronach, NZC's general manager of high performance who spoke on Thursday about looking to the future, conceded there had been tough decisions to make but stressed that a player can still be selected from outside the contracted group.

"They have given their all; have made great sacrifices, and retain our absolute respect," he said. "It's also important to emphasise that, just because someone hasn't received a national contract offer, it doesn't mean they cannot, or will not, be selected.

"This is about having on contract the players we're most likely to use during the next 12 month period."

Among the newly offer contracts, 18-year-old left-arm spinner Jonas has played five ODIs and was part of this year's World Cup squad while pace bowler Penfold has two ODI caps. Plimmer was a late call-up to the World Cup after Lauren Down was ruled out through injury. Gaze will likely challenge Jess McFadyen to take over Martin's role behind the stumps.

"It's never easy coming up with a final 17 players," Stronach said. "Having said that, we're excited about the six new faces receiving contract offers, several of whom already have some White Ferns experience under their belt.

"To be in a position in which we're genuinely considering the credentials of a wider pool of players can only be viewed as a positive for the women's game."

Players have until June 3 to accept or decline their contract offers.

New Zealand women's contracts Suzie Bates, Eden Carson, Sophie Devine, Lauren Down, Izzy Gaze, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Hayley Jensen, Fran Jonas, Jess Kerr, Melie Kerr, Rosemary Mair, Jess McFadyen, Nensi Patel, Molly Penfold, Georgia Plimmer, Hannah Rowe