In a significant development for New Zealand Cricket, Scott Weenink has assumed the role of Chief Executive, succeeding David White. Weenink, formerly the chairman of the New Zealand Cricket Players Association, has taken on the mantle of leadership with a clear vision to elevate Test cricket’s prominence and address the recent challenges surrounding player contracts.
A notable cricketer himself, Weenink has transitioned from his position at the Players Association to steer New Zealand Cricket in a new direction. One of his primary objectives is to emphasize Test cricket, a format he ardently cherishes.
Acknowledging that players have expressed their preference for red-ball cricket, he aims to strike a balance between traditional Test matches and the more financially lucrative limited-overs formats.
Weenink’s stance on player contracts reflects his understanding of the modern cricketer’s aspirations. With the recent departures of players like Trent Boult, Jimmy Neesham, and Colin de Grandhomme from central contracts, Weenink is keen on breaking this cycle. He envisions a structure that aligns with players’ goals for both financial security and national representation.
“We need to recognize that players want to generate as much earnings for themselves during what is a short-term contract, while also wanting to play cricket for New Zealand,” said Weenink. His strategy involves maintaining the flexibility of the contracting process, allowing players to thrive financially while fostering their commitment to representing their country.
Weenink’s strong belief in the significance of Test cricket is evident. “I’m a Test cricket romantic,” he says, underscoring his passion for the longest format of the game. He acknowledges that Test cricket’s allure is vital in retaining players’ interest in representing New Zealand. With an eye on keeping players engaged, he lauds the introduction of the Test Championship as a positive step forward.
Despite the financial challenges associated with Test cricket, Weenink remains committed to preserving its essence. “It is that difficult balance of recognizing that Test Cricket doesn’t make money, but it’s very important for the fans and very important for the players,” he explains. His approach revolves around capitalizing on the revenue-generating aspects of the game while safeguarding the soul of Test cricket.