All-rounder Cameron Green landed his maiden national contract but big names, including Matthew Wade and Travis Head, missed out as Cricket Australia on Friday announced a 17-strong list of contracted players for the upcoming season.
The 21-year-old Green, who scored 236 runs at 33.71 during the home four-Test series against India, was the only new name in the contract list which has been trimmed down to 17 players from 20 in previous years.
However, opener Joe Burns, all-rounders Mitchell Marsh and Marcus Stoinus along with former Test vice-captain Head and wicketkeeper-batsman Wade failed to get a deal for the 2021-2022 season, which includes the T20 World Cup in India and a home Ashes series.
“We have great confidence in the 17 players announced today as the Australian men’s team enters a busy year of high-quality cricket across all three formats…,” National Selector Trevor Hohns said in a statement.
Hohns gave two main reasons behind the size of the contract list.
“Firstly, we have seen format specialisation become increasingly prevalent in recent seasons which, accordingly, has resulted in a broader group of players representing Australia, often beyond the initial list of contracted players at the start of each year,” he said.
“Secondly, we want to create an environment where players strive for national selection through consistent domestic performances and earn national contracts through consistent international performances.”
Green had made a mark in his maiden Test against India and also amassed 922 runs at 76.83, including three centuries, in the Marsh Sheffield Shield.
“Cameron is a player we believe will play an important role for Australian cricket after his impressive breakout summer,” Hohns said.
“His 84 in the second innings against India at the SCG demonstrated excellent technique and resolve and we are confident his bowling will be impactful at international level.
“His domestic form was also outstanding, and we expect he will only get better with more international exposure.”
Hohns said those who have missed out are still eligible for national selection and can be upgraded to a central deal over the course of the year.
“But in naming these 17 players, we believe we have a strong core group which cover all forms of the game for the 12 months ahead.
“The NSP continues to hold Joe Burns, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Marsh and Marcus Stoinis in high regard and expect that they, and many others across Australian Cricket, will continue to make strong cases for national selection next season.”
Cricket Australia men’s contract list 2021-22:
Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, James Pattinson, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner, Adam Zampa.