Nick Kelly has been awarded his first domestic cricket contract with the SKYCITY Northern Knights. The opportunity occurred after Ish Sodhi's upgrade to a New Zealand Cricket contract after playing a number of matches for the BLACKCAPS. Sodhi's upgrade means Northern Districts now have seven players under New Zealand Cricket contracts.
The 22 year old left hand batsman from Counties Manukau has been a regular face in the Northern Knights and the Northern Districts A squads this season after making his first class debut against Auckland in October. Kelly featured in 6 matches for the Knights during the Georgie Pie Super Smash season, where he made his mark in November against Central Districts belting 36 off 16 balls in the dying overs to win the game. Kelly also played for the New Zealand Under 19 side in 2012.
Despite his success, Kelly continues to put focus on developing his game and improving his form "I'm just continuing to try and learn at every chance I get when I'm around the Knights environment. Also when I then play club and district level games I try to stamp more of a mark on the games I play."
James Pamment, Head Coach of the SKYCITY Northern Knights agrees, saying "Nick's development is encouraging and the transition to a contracted Knights cricketer for the remainder of the season will allow him to spend more time working on his game. He's performed with great enthusiasm and skill when his Knights opportunities have come along. He will have learnt plenty from those games and we expect Nick to be a player who will make very good contributions to the Knights efforts over the coming seasons. He's been a stand out player for the Northern Districts A squad over the past couple of seasons, so this is great recognition for his efforts."
Kelly looks to the senior players in his side for guidance when the pressure comes on, especially the Captain Daniel Flynn "Having an up and down season like we have had and being my first year really being in the team it's awesome having such a level headed captain like Daniel Flynn. He's really kept me calm and made me feel settled when I'm trying to make my way in domestic cricket."
The Northern Knights have 7 more rounds in the Plunket Shield brought to you by Budget Rental remaining in the season, facing the Central Stags next weekend at McLean Park in Napier. At the conclusion of the domestic season Kelly will again be heading off to England where he has renewed his contract with Downham Town Club in Norfolk.