It is a look into the future for the Auckland ACES as youngsters Adithya Ashok and Matthew Gibson have been awarded Domestic Contracts for 2021/22.
It has been a rapid rise for Ashok. The 18-year old leg-spinner finished school in 2020 and went on to play a starring role as Suburbs New Lynn reclaimed the Hedley Howarth Trophy.
From taking 4-44 for Auckland A against Wellington to taking 14 wickets on his Suburbs’ debut, Ashok has quickly shown his prowess as a wicket-taker.
Asked what this elevation means to him, Ashok was unable to contain his excitement.
‘Being a professional cricketer is something I have dreamt about for some time. I am fizzing to have the opportunity to make that dream a reality this year.
‘I am most looking forward to being fully immersed in the experience and learning as much as I can from a group that has a wealth of knowledge.’
Gibson, 21, echoed Ashok’s excitement in receiving a Domestic Contract for the first time.
‘It’s a dream come true really; a goal I have been working towards for years. This ACES group is one I look up to.’
While joining the ACES will be a major change from university to full-time cricket for Cornwall’s left-arm seamer, Gibson cannot wait to get going.
‘For me, being involved with the ACES group and improving my cricket day in day out is exciting. From what I have experienced, the culture of the team is special and I am really excited to be involved.’
ACES Head Coach Heinrich Malan is delighted to see players come through the Auckland system.
‘It is pleasing to see two exciting young prospects from within our Auckland environment get an opportunity to further their development and their skills.
‘Adi is an exciting leg-spinner who has been a standout performer at U19 level and in the past club season.
‘Matt has all the tools and attributes to be a quality seamer; this opportunity will stand him in good stead moving forward.’
The initial 14 ACES contracts were announced on June 21, with the contract period running from September 1, 2021 through to April 15, 2022.
Ashok and Gibson join Cole Briggs as players with first-year contracts, while George Worker joins the ACES from Central Districts.
ACES Contracts | 2021/22
BLACKCAPS Contracts | 2021/22