Flagging England rest Anderson and Collingwood

Flower embarks on rotation policy to keep players fresh despite needing a win against Australia today to keep one-day series alive

England handed lucrative contracts to 18 players yesterday and immediately rested two of them. The announcement of the new deals coincided with confirmation of the policy to rotate players to keep them fresh, regardless of their importance or the state of any series.

It also emerged that Andy Flower, the coach, suspects that the Indian Premier League, in which some players can expect to earn considerably more than they would playing international cricket, will be an issue for years to come. This will ensure that the implementation of contracts or even the signing of them is far from straightforward.

Flower and the other three selectors have awarded central contracts to 11 players, one fewer than last year, and increment contracts to seven others. Out from the elite list go Monty Panesar, Stephen Harmison, and Michael Vaughan, who has retired, and in come Matt Prior, Graeme Swann and Graham Onions. Andrew Flintoff, retired from Test cricket, was not eligible for a central contract and has been downgraded to the increment list.

The central contracts, of which there are three bands, are worth between £150,000 and £300,000 and the increment contract about £70,000. The names on both lists will make up the winter touring party to South Africa, although that will not be formally finalised until next month.

With England 3-0 down in the NatWest Series against Australia they have also decided to rest two of their most experienced players, Paul Collingwood and James Anderson. Collingwood will miss the next three games and Anderson two, a bold action but an obvious one given the jaded recent form of both men.

"To manage people's workloads is important," said Flower. "I think we will see a lot more rotation. With the schedules I think we have to, otherwise people will burn out."

It is still a big call to omit players who have appeared in 276 one-dayers between them with England struggling so badly. Then there is the elephant in the room, otherwise known as the IPL.

There remains a concern that players will wish to go to the IPL for the money when it might not be considered in England's best interests. It took almost six months of wrangling last year between the England and Wales Cricket Board and the Professional Cricketers' Association and the players did not sign until they had already arrived in the West Indies in late January.

"The IPL might be an issue over the next few years," said Flower. "We all know what the schedules and the workloads are like. Not playing for England and playing in the IPL is a danger and a fairly obvious one and we wouldn't welcome a situation like that at all. But the bottom line for us is that we have to manage some of these guys' workloads. The IPL muddies those waters a bit."

It is quite clear that some players are doing too much and England have left out Collingwood and Anderson with an eye on the Champions Trophy in South Africa later this month. Although it is eminently sensible – and might actually have been done earlier – Flower is prepared to be criticised for leaving out the pair against Australia.

He said: "I can understand that sentiment. However, I think it's an exciting opportunity for a couple of other guys to step into those roles and do them well. I'm looking forward to seeing a few fresh faces."

That probably indicates the selection of Joe Denly who is available after recovering from the sprained knee he suffered during a warm-up football match before the first game of the series. He may open the batting with Andrew Strauss with Ravi Bopara dropping down to three and Matt Prior to four and Owais Shah to five.

But as much as England need runs, they have also been short of wickets from their supposed strike bowlers. Onions is likely to mark his central contract by making his one-day debut. England must go into the match with at least six men who can bowl, four of them specialists.

There will be strong voices in favour of Adil Rashid, who performed so creditably in the first match of the series but given the difficult balance of the side they are unlikely to be heeded.

The depth of England's general one-day difficulties, let alone their plight in this series, was outlined by Flower. "We haven't had a good one-day side since 1992. So we have got to do something about it and that is part of my job. We are about winning games and at the moment our one-day cricket is very ordinary. We are investing a lot of time and thought into why one-day cricket in England isn't as good as it should be, and hasn't been for a long time. And how we are going to build a good one-day side." But not, it is to be feared, yet.

Central contracts: England's players

James Anderson (Lancashire); Ian Bell (Warwickshire); Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire); Paul Collingwood (Durham); Alastair Cook (Essex); *Graham Onions (Durham); Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire); *Matt Prior (Sussex); Ryan Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire); Andrew Strauss (Middlesex); *Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire) *New contracts

Misses out from last year

Michael Vaughan, Monty Panesar and Stephen Harmison.

Increment Contracts

Ravi Bopara (Essex); Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire); Andrew Flintoff (Lancashire); Adil Rashid (Yorkshire); Owais Shah (Middlesex); Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire); Luke Wright (Sussex)

Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture