New Zealand v Bangladesh - Tri-Series: 5th T20
CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 12: Jimmy Neesham of New Zealand bats during game five of the T20 International series between New Zealand and Bangladesh at Hagley Oval on October 12, 2022 in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Joe Allison/Getty Images)
New Zealand v Bangladesh - Tri-Series: 5th T20

Jimmy Neesham has become the latest overseas star to join the Big Bash League for the 2022-23 summer, signing on with the Hobart Hurricanes.

The New Zealand international is fresh off playing for the Black Caps at the T20 World Cup, but doesn't have a central contract with the New Zealand Cricket Board, freeing him up to play around the world.

He was originally left off the central contract list before being offered a deal in September, however, the all-rounder declined.

He said at the time that the decision to not accept the contract came after he had already committed to leagues around the world.

"I know the news of my decision to decline a central contract today will be seen as me choosing money over representing my country," Neesham posted on an Instagram story in September.

"I had planned to accept a contract offer in July, however since being left off the list I have committed to other leagues around the world. It was a difficult decision but I have decided to honour those commitments rather than go back on my word to re-sign with NZ Cricket.

"Playing for the [Blackcaps] has been the greatest honour of my career and I remain committed to taking the field with my countrymen for the foreseeable future, especially in pinnacle world events."

Neesham has joined Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme in not accepting contracts from the New Zealand board, with all three to spend time in the BBL.

Neesham has played 60 T20s for his country, scoring 688 runs at 22.19 with a strike rate of almost 160, while he has scored 2934 runs in total from 217 matches in the shortest form at 23.66 and a strike rate of 142.01.

He has also taken 174 wickets in those 217 matches at an average of 26.01.

He said he was excited to join the Hurricanes.

“I'm really excited to be involved with the Big Bash for the first time this year,” Neesham said in a club statement.

“I've heard great things about the Hurricanes set up, and the list this year looks incredibly strong, so to be able to play even a small part in what I hope will be a successful tournament for the franchise is a really great opportunity for me.

“A lot of people say Tasmania is a bit like a mini New Zealand, so I'm looking forward to getting over there, meeting the guys, and playing the role that is asked of me for the team.”

Neesham joins Asif Ali, Zak Crawley and Faheem Ashraf as the club's overseas players, with one domestic contract still available.