Two promising players set to play for Otago

Dean Foxcroft has signed to play for Otago next summer. Photo: Getty Images
Dean Foxcroft has signed to play for Otago next summer. Photo: Getty Images
Otago has signed two promising players for next season.

Dean Foxcroft and Nick Kelly have moved south to Otago and are likely to be awarded Otago contracts when they are announced at the end of the week.

Kelly (25), a left-handed, top-order batsman. has played 14 first-class matches for Northern Districts and 55 list A and twenty20 matches since making his debut during the 2015-16 season.

Hey has scored 849 list A runs at a career average of 35.37, including two hundreds and six half-centuries. He is known as a powerful and innovative striker of the ball and has generally been used in the top three by ND.

Foxcroft, a former South African under-19 captain, is a highly promising all-rounder who last summer played his first full season for Central Districts.

He had an exceptional start to his Super Smash career, scoring four half-centuries at a strike rate of more than 120.

His match-winning 63 off 50 balls helped Central Districts win the 2018-19 title.

In the 2018-19 Ford Trophy, Foxcroft scored an impressive 259 runs in six innings at an average of 51.80 with a healthy strike rate of 94.5.

Highly regarded by NZC, the 21-year-old brings genuine all-round ability to Otago with his ability to bat in the top order and bowl useful off-spin across all three formats. In just three first-class matches he has secured best match figures of seven for 65.

With both Central Districts and Northern having a deep player pool, the two players have looked elsewhere and decided on Otago.

Otago has lost batsman Brad Wilson (retired), pace bowler Warren Barnes (break) and all-rounder Shawn Hicks (medical retirement) since last summer so there is space for new players.

Experienced bastman Neil Broom will play all three formats next season after playing only white-ball cricket last year.

Otago coach Rob Walter is excited about the prospect of having this new duo play alongside Broom, Hamish Rutherford and Anaru Kitchen, as well as the many talented youngsters in the Otago group.

"With the new direction that the Volts are travelling in, it is awesome to have young cricketers of this calibre choose to join us in the South,'' Walter said.

"We are confident that this move will be a springboard for both of them to push for higher honours but, as importantly, we know that they will be an integral part of the Volts' successes moving forward.''

The first round of contracted players will be announced on Saturday.

The contracts begin on September 1 and end on April 15.


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