Melbourne [Australia], April 23 (ANI): Cricket Australia (CA) on Friday announced the list of 17 men players who were offered national contracts for the 2021-22 season. Former Australia Test vice-captain Travis Head and wicket-keeper batsman Matthew Wade missed out while young all-rounder Cameron Green was handed a contract.
According to CA, the contracts are primarily assessed on player performances during the past 12 months and identify those whom the National Selection Panel believes will represent the Australian teams over the year ahead.
Opening batsman Joe Burns, who was dropped during the Test series against India, and all-rounder Mitchell Marsh have also missed out on the contracts.
"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 which features, among other highlights, an ICC Twenty20 World Cup in India and a home Ashes series," said national selector Trevor Hohns in an official statement.
"There are two main reasons behind the size of the contract list announced today. 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.
"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," he added.
Green has been elevated to his first full contract after playing all four Tests against India last summer.
"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," said Hohns.
Burns, Head, Wade, Marsh and Marcus Stoinis (upgraded during the 2020-21 season) did not retain national contracts but will be afforded every opportunity to press for selection in Australian squads.
"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," said Hohns.
Hohns said Australian men's teams were well placed for success across all three formats.
"While the Border-Gavaskar Trophy was deservedly won by India, our players can nonetheless be proud of their efforts across all formats, which included a home ODI series win over India and an away win over England, the current World Champions."
"This is reflected in the ICC rankings. Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne and David Warner are all ranked among the top ten Test batsmen, while Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc are rated in the top ten Test bowlers."
"Add to this the white ball player rankings -- Aaron Finch (ODI and T20I) and Glenn Maxwell (T20I) among the batsmen and Ashton Agar (T20I) and Adam Zampa (T20I) among the bowlers are all in the top 10 globally -- and the strength of this contract list is evident," said Hohns. (ANI)