Snubbed Otago Black Cap: 'My career 99% over'

Otago batsman Neil Broom sweeps the ball during a Plunket Shield match against Wellington at the...
Otago batsman Neil Broom sweeps the ball during a Plunket Shield match against Wellington at the University Oval. Photo: Peter McIntosh
Neil Broom accepts his international career is "99 percent" over and says there are "no hard feelings at all" after missing the New Zealand Cricket central contracts list.

The Otago right-hander revelled in giving his second chance with the Black Caps a "good crack". He endured a hiatus of more than six years before getting recalled for the Bangladesh one-day international series between Boxing Day and New Year's Eve 2016.

Broom and all-rounder Jimmy Neesham were the members of last season's 21-player list who failed to get re-signed. They will likely get domestic contracts instead.

Canterbury leg-spinning all-rounder Todd Astle was the only new face in a list which reduced from 21 to 20.

Neesham declined to comment on his situation, other than to say he could understand the decision and would be doing his utmost to recapture form.

Both Neesham and Broom struggled in 2017-18.

Broom averaged under 30 in each format and scored six and two in ODIs against the West Indies during the contracted period.

Neesham averaged in the mid-30s with bat and ball at first-class and List A level, but could not hold his place in Otago's T20 side. He did not play for New Zealand across the season.

At 27, Neesham still has plenty of opportunity to regain his international spot.

At 34, Broom has a tougher job, and has resigned himself to the fact.

"Whatever I do in the future, I know I had a good crack and probably wasn't good enough when it came down to it," he told the New Zealand Herald.

"I'm looking forward to playing for Otago and getting a bit of pride back in the province cricket-wise. It's year-by-year now, but hopefully, I can pump out another couple of seasons and hang the boots up happy."

Broom counts a test debut at Wellington's Basin Reserve among his highlights.

He replaced the injured Ross Taylor to contend with a South African line-up featuring Morne Morkel, Vern Philander and Kagiso Rabada on a green-top. The result was a duck and 20 in New Zealand's eight-wicket defeat, before scoring 12 in the rained out finale at Hamilton.

"I never thought I was going to play test cricket, but I knew I was there for two games against a pretty decent South Africa attack. I probably wouldn't have it any other way."

Earlier in the 2016-17 summer, Broom exited his contract with English county Derbyshire to get a "last wee taste" at international level.

He was recalled as a No 4 to the New Zealand ODI side after a previous stint as a No 6-No 7 closer in the death overs.

Broom made his mark with 109 not out and 97 against Bangladesh at Nelson, followed by 73 in the Marcus-Stoinis-match against Australia in Auckland. New Zealand won all three.

"I got into a vein of form. After I scored a few runs against Aussie at Eden Park, I started to feel more comfortable at international level."

Broom has planned for life after cricket with his family, which includes three children. He has purchased two properties he calls The Central Gaff in Wanaka. Broom is renting them out as part of the Airbnb network.

Elsewhere, Neesham missed selection for the test, limited overs and 'A' sides across a two-month period up to November. Before the Black Caps left for India, coach and chief selector Mike Hesson issued his verdict: "Jimmy needs go back and dominate domestic cricket with both bat and ball."

That didn't occur and it appears unlikely Neesham will return to Otago this season. Auckland seem a contender for his services, given that is his original home.

Another option might be Wellington under the inclusive stewardship of coach Bruce Edgar. Edgar originally picked Neesham for international duty when he was a New Zealand selector.

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