Arrival of Foxcroft will complicate selection

New Volts player Dean Foxcroft fields a ball for Central Districts. Photo: Getty Images
New Volts player Dean Foxcroft fields a ball for Central Districts. Photo: Getty Images
Dean Foxcroft will bolster the batting stocks but his arrival in Otago will complicate the team selection.

The South African 21-year-old is a great pick-up by the Volts. The all-rounder is transferring south from Central Districts after a wonderful rookie season.

He scored an undefeated 120 in his second list A game and 90 three days later. And in the twenty20 final against a classy Northern Districts attack which included Tim Southee, Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi, he clouted a match-high 63 from 50 balls to help set up a 67-run win.

Foxcroft, who is a very useful spin bowler as well, is one of two new players confirmed to be joining the Volts.

Northern Districts left-hander Nick Kelly is also making the move south. He bats in the top four and is a nice and easy replacement for opener Brad Wilson, who has retired.

But Foxcroft, who is a former South African under-19 player, comes with conditions.

He is a qualifying player and the Volts already have two players who fit into that category - wrist spinner Michael Rippon and all-rounder Christi Viljoen, who both were contracted last season.

The Volts can contract all three players but that would not make a lot of sense as only two qualifying players can play in a Plunket Shield or a one-day game.

You can play up to three non-eligible players in the T20 competition, however.

''When you can only play two on the park, someone is going to miss out. That is just a reality,'' Volts coach Rob Walter said.

''So for me it is about trying to understand what that balance of our team looks like and we needed to improve the strength of our batting.''

Asked if that meant Viljoen's contract spot might be in jeopardy, Walter said it was a ''possibility''.

''Ultimately, the contracts haven't been named yet, so it is very difficult for me to comment right now. But that is obviously a possibility,''

The first round of contracts will be announced on Saturday.

Viljoen has been an underrated player for Otago. He produced a gutsy batting effort in the one-day final last season.

The Volts had slumped to 57 for seven but he top-scored with 87 not out and combined with Rippon in a 146-run stand to give his side a target to bowl at.

Otago has not found a replacement for fast bowler Warren Barnes, so that will potentially free up a contract for promising opening batsman Camden Hawkins.

He showed plenty of promise at the top of the order with four half-centuries in six first-class games.

Barnes' place on the field can be filled by Michael Rae, who missed all of last season through injury. He was ahead of Barnes in the pecking order before he succumbed to a shoulder complaint.

 

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Brilliant

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