Melbourne, April 30 (IANS) Cricket Australia (CA) on Thursday announced the list of 20 male players to be awarded national contracts for 2020-21, in which the name of left-handed batsman Usman Khawaja was missing. It is for the first time in five years that Khawaja has missed out on a central contract.
Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Ashton Agar, Joe Burns, Kane Richardson and Matthew Wade are the six new names in the list.
The other names missing in the list are Nathan Coulter-Nile, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Shaun Marsh, Marcus Stoinis and Ashton Turner. Right-arm pacer Peter Siddle, who has retired from international cricket, was not considered.
“Marnus’ rise has been meteoric and well documented, Joe has been a good Test match player, Ashton Agar’s form in T20 internationals has been exceptional, while Kane Richardson has been outstanding in the twenty over and one-day games,” men’s national selector Trevor Hohns said in a statement.
Hohns acknowledged some “unlucky omissions” in the list but pointed to the Marsh and Wade case studies from last summer, where they were able to make a way in through stellar performances and subsequent upgrades.
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia also announced the list of 15 centrally contracted women players in which Nicole Bolton, Elyse Villani, Erin Burns and Molly Strano miss out.
“The door is not closed on any of the players who did not receive a new CA contract,”according to women’s national selector Shawn Flegler.
Players not awarded contracts as part of the initial squad of 15 can earn upgrades throughout the year by accruing 12 upgrade points. Players receive four points for a Test match, two for a ODI and two for a T20I.
Contracted men’s players: Ashton Agar, Joe Burns, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, James Pattinson, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
Contracted women’s players: Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Meg Lanning, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham