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McClenaghan keeps Kiwi dream alive

Black Cap turned T20 gun for hire says hopes international cricket comes calling again as he prepares for Big Bash

Mitchell McClenaghan says he has not given up on representing New Zealand on the world stage after forgoing a central contract offer to pursue a career playing in global Twenty20 tournaments.

McClenaghan and New Zealand Cricket reached the decision "mutually and amicably", and the speedster hopes to one day force his way back into the national side should his performances warrant a recall.

"That's out of my hands but I'm going to play hard cricket, that's what I know how to do," McClenaghan said on his international future.

"(I'm going to) go out there and prove my worth to people and hopefully they come knocking when I keep taking a whole bunch of poles and they're a little bit stuck potentially.

"New Zealand cricket's in a great position at the minute. We've got a whole bunch of bowlers coming through, a lot I've worked with over some time with some skills. That's exciting as well.

"If the opportunity comes I wouldn't mind taking my spot back."

McClenaghan has played 48 ODIs and 28 T20Is but hasn't represented the Black Caps since March 2016 when New Zealand was knocked out of the World T20 in India by England.

With New Zealand boasting a powerful fast bowling battery, led by spearheads Trent Boult and Tim Southee, and his involvement in T20 tournaments around the world soaking up his schedule, the 31-year-old came became aware that Test cricket might be past him.

"Anyone who is playing cricket for their country holds onto aspirations of playing Test cricket," he said.

"It just got to a point where there was probably going to be limited opportunity first and foremost to prove my case to play Test cricket with the timing of all our one-day cricket, it clashed with all our first-class stuff.

"I got to a realisation that I probably wasn't going to have the time to prove myself and force my way into that side."


On the flip-side of not playing first-class cricket, the left-armers white-ball skills have improved dramatically.

"(It's) probably been a blessing that I haven't played too much first-class cricket over the last three or four years, because it's just been non-stop white ball and I think the key particularly in white ball cricket and T20 cricket now is consistency of playing and performing your skills because it's very hard to change across formats.

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"It's a blessing to be able to continue (working) on my skills from tournament to tournament and keep on making sure that I'm on top of my game."

McClenaghan was on Thursday announced as Sydney Thunder's first international signing for the upcoming season of the KFC BBL.