Australia central contracts offer hint for Ashes

A raft of players have been given new deals

Australia offered a hint of what their Ashes touring party could look like today as they unveiled a list of centrally contracted players.

Jackson Bird, Steve Smith, Moises Henriques and Usman Khawaja were among the high-profile players left off the 20-player list.

Retirements meant Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey were omitted, with paceman Mitchell Starc believed to be among the biggest beneficiaries after receiving a major contract upgrade.

Victorian veteran David Hussey was the other player from last year's original list not offered a contract.

Twenty20 captain George Bailey, incumbent Test batsmen Ed Cowan and Phil Hughes, Tasmanian young gun James Faulkner, Victorian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell and Clint McKay are among the notable inclusions.

Australia face England in a five-match Ashes series beginning at Trent Bridge on July 10, and then take on their old foes at home over a further five Tests at the end of the year.

The contracted list was chosen by Cricket Australia (CA) chairman of selectors John Inverarity, together with Rod Marsh, Andy Bichel and coach Mickey Arthur.

Inverarity said: "Jackson Bird, Moises Henriques, Usman Khawaja and Steve Smith were all very close to making this contract list.

"And we expect them to take opportunities that are presented across formats to represent Australia and make a case for an upgrade to a CA contract, as the year unfolds.

"(Victorian) Aaron Finch hasn't made the contract list on this occasion but the NSP [national selection panel] hopes he will make a case for future inclusion through his performances."

Inverarity added: "Of the 20 players on the 2013-14 contract list all currently hold a CA playing contract.

"The 17 players initially contracted for the 2012-13 season played a significant role in selections across the various formats during the season. Those upgraded to the contract list during the season all proved their worth.

"Six of the nine players upgraded to the contract list during the 2012-13 season have been rewarded with contracts for the full 2013-14 season, these being George Bailey, Ed Cowan, James Faulkner, Phillip Hughes, Glenn Maxwell and Clint McKay.

"All of these players staked their claims for a contract for the 2013-14 period by way of their performances and the expectation of the role they will play during the coming 12 months."

The list includes just six specialist batsmen, with Inverarity openly expressing concerns over the lack of batting depth in Australian cricket.

He challenged Hughes, who struggled in India, to take his game to new heights over the coming months.

"Phillip Hughes has made a lot of runs throughout the past 12 months and is a young player who we are looking to become a reliable and prolific run-scorer, while Ed Cowan worked hard in the last 12 months to earn an upgrade and the panel feel that he is deserving of selection on this list for the coming year," Inverarity said.

Contracted players: George Bailey, Michael Clarke, Ed Cowan, Pat Cummins, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus, Phil Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Shane Watson.

PA

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
life
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Life and Style
food + drink
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Duncan Campbell's hour-long film 'It for Others'
Turner Prize 2014
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hadley in a scene from ‘Soul Boys Of The Western World’
musicSpandau Ballet are back together - on stage and screen
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Ed Stoppard as Brian Epstein, Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Elliott Cowan as George Martin in 'Cilla'
tvCilla review: A poignant ending to mini-series
News
i100
Life and Style
Bearing up: Sebastian Flyte with his teddy Aloysius in Brideshead Revisited
lifePhilippa Perry explains why a third of students take a bear to uni
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Alan Sugar appearing in a shot from Apprentice which was used in a Cassette Boy mashup
artsA judge will rule if pieces are funny enough to be classed as parodies
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style