Australia news June 22, 2012

Cowan, Bailey miss out on Australia contracts

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Ed Cowan, the incumbent Test opener, and Australia's Twenty20 captain George Bailey, have missed out on national deals as part of a major reduction of Cricket Australia's contract list. However, the selectors have found room in the 17-man group for Mitchell Johnson, despite his disappointing and injury-affected year, and the limited-overs specialists Xavier Doherty and David Hussey, neither of whom are likely to be in serious contention for the Test side during the coming year.

The signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) on Friday allowed the contract list to be finalised, and the most significant feature was the slashing of the number of contracts. Last year, 25 contracts were handed out but a reduction in that number was a key recommendation of the Argus report into Australia's performance.

David Warner, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade and Nathan Lyon have all been added to the list from outside last year's initial 25, while a host of players have not had their contracts renewed. The veteran fast bowler Brett Lee is gone from the list, although he remains in Australia's limited-overs plans and is part of the one-day squad currently in England, while the promising young batsman Usman Khawaja was also omitted.

The offspinners Jason Krejza and Nathan Hauritz, the wicketkeeper Tim Paine and the batsman Callum Ferguson were all dropped after not playing a match for Australia during the last contract period. The opener Phillip Hughes, batsmen Shaun Marsh and Cameron White, allrounders John Hastings and Steven Smith, and fast bowler Doug Bollinger have also been axed after slipping significantly in the pecking order.

There was no room for Peter Forrest, the Queensland batsman, who made a promising start to his international career during the summer, nor for the seamer Clint McKay, who played 16 matches for Australia in the shorter formats over the past year. The allrounder Daniel Christian played 17 games for Australia during the last contract period but did not make the cut.

One of the most notable features of the contract list was the imbalance between batting and bowling, with only six specialist batsmen handed deals: Michael Clarke, Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey, David Hussey, Shane Watson and David Warner. Cricket Australia's chief executive, James Sutherland, said the disproportionate numbers were likely to be due to the selection panel's uncertainty over the make-up of their preferred batting group, beyond the core players.

"My sense is that the jury's out to some extent on the batting side of things," Sutherland said. "We will go into international cricket matches with a certain amount of batsmen to do the job. But there is probably some uncertainty in the selectors' eyes about the exact make-up of the team in Tests and one-dayers and Twenty20s going forward. The future will decide that."

The most surprising omissions were those of Cowan and Bailey. Cowan has played Australia's past seven Tests and is expected to retain his position at least for the initial Tests of Australia's home summer against South Africa in 2012-13. But while his form has been encouraging he is yet to provide the kind of big score that could have swayed the chairman of selectors John Inverarity and his panel to hand him a deal.

Bailey will captain Australia at the ICC World Twenty20 in September but he will likely do so as a player contracted to Tasmania rather than Australia. Bailey has a chance to hold down a one-day international position during the ongoing tour of England and Ireland, and there is a strong possibility he could be upgraded to a national contract before the World T20.

To be upgraded from outside the initial contract list, a player must accumulate 12 points based on how many matches they play for Australia - Tests are worth five points each, ODIs are worth two and T20 internationals are worth one. The system means that should Cowan play three Tests during the summer he will be given a mid-season national contract, while Bailey and other players on the fringes have the chance to gain deals throughout the year.

"There is a significant provision for upgrades," Sutherland said. "In the past there have been some contracts that have been provided at the start of the period prematurely, and players haven't necessarily played the requisite number of matches during the course of that contract year. This remodelling doesn't in any way take away the right of a player to be upgraded to a contract if they play the right number of matches. There's a provision for about 13 additional contracts to be upgraded during the year."

Paul Marsh, the ACA chief executive, said the contract lists in previous years had been too large and it was not unreasonable to expect fringe players to play a certain number of games to earn deals.

"There was no doubt in our mind and Cricket Australia's mind that we had too many contracts," Marsh said. "Right from the start we presented those figures to [the players] and they thought it was the right thing to do. Someone like George Bailey, who sits on our board, is probably a victim of this new system, but to his credit he was one of the big supporters of it. The players look at what's best for the collective player group and for Australian cricket and it's the right outcome."

Cricket Australia contracted players Michael Clarke, Pat Cummins, Xavier Doherty, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Ricky Ponting, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, Shane Watson, David Warner.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Paul_Rampley on June 24, 2012, 3:04 GMT

    @Mat_Mcintosh agree with you mate, Cowan hasn't earned his contract and he will have a tough job keeping other batsman such as Forrest, Khawaja and Maddinson out who will be in the future Aussie batting lineup

  • 5wombats on June 23, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    What a laugh! Where are the batsmen?? We rate Clarke highly and Mike Hussey but they can't do it all on their own. M Hussey will be old! Batting was the biggest problem for Australia in the 2010/11 Ashes and there is nothing here to address that. The bowling was almost as bad and the fielding was well below standard too. Come to think of it Australia were pretty average. And if Ponting comes next year we can only say; "that'll be fun to watch"!

  • caughtatcover on June 23, 2012, 8:39 GMT

    Haddin out of all should be at the bottom of the pecking order based on his recent showings...I feel Johnson has what it takes to come back strongly and he should have been on the waiting list gradually transitioning to the contracted list with the help of his performance and the point system ..really feel for Bailey..c'mon he deserves at least some reward for being the best young leader in the pack..CA has acknowledged his credentials without rewarding him..hope he stays motivated to lead his country and put up a decent show at the WT20

  • Mary_786 on June 23, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    @dnarmstrong spot on mate, Cowan hasn't earned his spot yet and it opens the door for the likes of Khawaja, Forrest and Mitch Marsh to push for their spots and i predict all these 3 batsman will have big shield seasons for their states. Would love to see Khawaja and Forrest get in our top order as they have the temperament needed for this level.

  • dnarmstrong on June 22, 2012, 22:01 GMT

    Would be good if we can like people's comments on here, I want to give indianpunter 10 out of 10. Bryson is spot on as Ed Cowan just hasn't nailed the opening spot yet and didn't quite deserve it. I think it's surprising they couldn't find room for George in front of a bowler but it seems like a much better system from a motivational point of view and they all know they'll get rewarded if they play well.

  • Muhtasim13 on June 22, 2012, 18:00 GMT

    the new contracts do make sense from a different angle i.e. it gives players the motivation to perform. Nevertheless, its really odd to see that most of the specialist batsmen in the team are 30+. So, i would like to see how this choice turns out for Australia. But really sad to see Bailey missing out

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on June 22, 2012, 16:54 GMT

    Australia will have to do with bailey , cowan , marsh for some time and hope next batch of world class batsmen will emerge from their domestic cricket by the time, also as benny1725 said hughes is a very talented player , he just needs some time away from the spotlight to find his way..

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on June 22, 2012, 16:44 GMT

    bailey , cowan , usman and mckay deserved better , whats johnson and haddin still doing there ?? !

  • on June 22, 2012, 16:35 GMT

    no brett lee ? how is that possible isnt he gud enuf now ?

  • Woody111 on June 22, 2012, 15:31 GMT

    @Benny, nice sentiment mate, hope you're right. He does have talent, and time to hone skills as you've said

  • Paul_Rampley on June 24, 2012, 3:04 GMT

    @Mat_Mcintosh agree with you mate, Cowan hasn't earned his contract and he will have a tough job keeping other batsman such as Forrest, Khawaja and Maddinson out who will be in the future Aussie batting lineup

  • 5wombats on June 23, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    What a laugh! Where are the batsmen?? We rate Clarke highly and Mike Hussey but they can't do it all on their own. M Hussey will be old! Batting was the biggest problem for Australia in the 2010/11 Ashes and there is nothing here to address that. The bowling was almost as bad and the fielding was well below standard too. Come to think of it Australia were pretty average. And if Ponting comes next year we can only say; "that'll be fun to watch"!

  • caughtatcover on June 23, 2012, 8:39 GMT

    Haddin out of all should be at the bottom of the pecking order based on his recent showings...I feel Johnson has what it takes to come back strongly and he should have been on the waiting list gradually transitioning to the contracted list with the help of his performance and the point system ..really feel for Bailey..c'mon he deserves at least some reward for being the best young leader in the pack..CA has acknowledged his credentials without rewarding him..hope he stays motivated to lead his country and put up a decent show at the WT20

  • Mary_786 on June 23, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    @dnarmstrong spot on mate, Cowan hasn't earned his spot yet and it opens the door for the likes of Khawaja, Forrest and Mitch Marsh to push for their spots and i predict all these 3 batsman will have big shield seasons for their states. Would love to see Khawaja and Forrest get in our top order as they have the temperament needed for this level.

  • dnarmstrong on June 22, 2012, 22:01 GMT

    Would be good if we can like people's comments on here, I want to give indianpunter 10 out of 10. Bryson is spot on as Ed Cowan just hasn't nailed the opening spot yet and didn't quite deserve it. I think it's surprising they couldn't find room for George in front of a bowler but it seems like a much better system from a motivational point of view and they all know they'll get rewarded if they play well.

  • Muhtasim13 on June 22, 2012, 18:00 GMT

    the new contracts do make sense from a different angle i.e. it gives players the motivation to perform. Nevertheless, its really odd to see that most of the specialist batsmen in the team are 30+. So, i would like to see how this choice turns out for Australia. But really sad to see Bailey missing out

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on June 22, 2012, 16:54 GMT

    Australia will have to do with bailey , cowan , marsh for some time and hope next batch of world class batsmen will emerge from their domestic cricket by the time, also as benny1725 said hughes is a very talented player , he just needs some time away from the spotlight to find his way..

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on June 22, 2012, 16:44 GMT

    bailey , cowan , usman and mckay deserved better , whats johnson and haddin still doing there ?? !

  • on June 22, 2012, 16:35 GMT

    no brett lee ? how is that possible isnt he gud enuf now ?

  • Woody111 on June 22, 2012, 15:31 GMT

    @Benny, nice sentiment mate, hope you're right. He does have talent, and time to hone skills as you've said

  • Guthers007 on June 22, 2012, 14:59 GMT

    An Australian Captain not given a contract? That's just not cricket!

  • Sunil_Batra on June 22, 2012, 14:39 GMT

    @SachinisNogod, Khawaja was the leading shield run scorer in 2010, 2011 and didn't top the list last year as he only played 4 shield games. My son wants to play for Australia because of this young man wearing a baggy green. I predict he will have a big shield season, Peter Forrest is another man i would watch closely.

  • on June 22, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    Missing out on a contract could well and truly drive some young players into the IPL to make big money rather than have a national contract.

  • indianpunter on June 22, 2012, 13:18 GMT

    how come tendulkar was not given a central contract in australia?

  • Benny1725 on June 22, 2012, 13:16 GMT

    Hughes is an immensely talented player...his 2 hundreds at Durban againts a quality s.a attack in 2009 proves this....he just needs to be giving time. Him not having a contract takes pressure off him aswell. For him its just a technical issue...he needs to stop bringing his bat down square and needs to play more straight...look at amla for instance...everyone thought he was rubbish when he made his debut in the 04/05 season...technically he was terrible but he clearly had talent...he went away and honed himself technically....and you can see the main difference from the amla of then,to the amla of today, is that his staying still at the crease and playing more straight...ausie supporters have to be patient...he will get there

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 22, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    Why is Xavier Doherty given a contract ahead of Nathan Hauritz? I know Michael Clarke has been out-bowling the main bowlers recently, but if anything happens to Nathan Lyon or Australia need two spinners... big trouble! @RandyOZ on (June 22 2012, 06:08 AM GMT): I thought you liked Mitchell Johnson, or is that Jonesy I'm thinking of?

  • zenboomerang on June 22, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    @landl47... The CA points system doesn't make sense & isn't balanced but I can see there is a need for more accountability from players to get a contract... Tough call, but things need tighening up...

  • zenboomerang on June 22, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    @dsig3... Agree on Christian - Watto & the selectors have used him poorly in series giving him the worst of the conditions while favoring Watto... Christian was SA's 2nd most used bowler & leading batter in SS last season - seems a waste of a brilliant talent...

  • Keepa-batsman on June 22, 2012, 11:56 GMT

    bret lee tim paine and doug bollinger have excellent internaional rrecords, lee especially. they ddnt deseve it

  • on June 22, 2012, 11:45 GMT

    @Hammond ... if what you say is true, it is funny that Australia is copying England when England has been trying to copy Australia's set up for the last 20 years!

  • ali00 on June 22, 2012, 11:38 GMT

    Where is Khawaja and how come CA didnt give him contract he is a wolrd class batsman.

  • SachinisNogod on June 22, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    Khawaja should never be allowed near and Australian dressing room again. One of the worst players ever to don the baggy green.

  • on June 22, 2012, 11:14 GMT

    and THIS people, is why 20/20 cricket is a blessing for every player. Any nation can simply discard them whenever they feel like (justified or unjustified), at least t20 gives them an option to continue their careers and make a good living. Like EVERY other sport, it needs to be a balance between Club and international sport

  • Sunil_Batra on June 22, 2012, 11:07 GMT

    Agree with this list, Cowan didn't deserve a contract as he is only averaging in the 20s and has by no means consolidated his spot. Hughes and Khawaja were dropped with an average higher then his. Not choosing batsman outside the core group does give our best young batsman such as Forrest, Khawaja and Mitchell Marsh a chance to get the batting spots for the ashes. I predict big seasons from Khawaja who is a classy left hander and Mitch Marsh who will be our next big allrounder. Haddin should not have got a contract, nor should Johnson as their performances didn't warrant it.

  • on June 22, 2012, 11:04 GMT

    This is central contract list, not the first XI. Haddin's inclusion is a bit weird... but whatever.

    And, Niraj Vashi, don't think players like Cowan, Khawaja, et. al. are going to be playing in any, far less all, international T20 leagues

  • Mary_786 on June 22, 2012, 10:45 GMT

    This is a good selection of players from the selectors. Cowan didn't deserve the contract averaging in the 20s. It also gives hope to players such as Khawaja, Forrest and Hughes to make the Aussie batting stocks which they deserve to if they bat well. Pay close attention to Forrest and Khawaja who will be leading run scorers in shield this year.

  • landl47 on June 22, 2012, 10:24 GMT

    Only 6 batsmen given contracts and only one of them is under 30, while Ponting and Mike Hussey are 37 and David Hussey is 35 next month. Even the players excluded (Cowan, Marsh, Khawaja, Ferguson) are in their mid- to late 20s. Australia's bowling looks promising and that promise had better be realized, because unless some young, quality batsmen appear soon, Aus is really going to struggle for runs against SA and England. I think the most unlucky player is McKay, who is a first choice for the ODI side. Surely he must have sufficient points to make the contract list?

  • on June 22, 2012, 10:09 GMT

    No contract is good as they can participate in every damn T20 league there is.

  • on June 22, 2012, 10:04 GMT

    "How To Shoot Yourself In the Foot" Even if Warner came through the hawse-hole of 20-20, the prime consideration should be the Test side which requires the best set of skills, technique and talent. It's easier for a good Test player to make a successful transition to one-day cricket, thus David Hussey and George Bailey should have been the sole limited-overs players contracted, the remaining 15 to have gone to a balanced Test squad, not forgetting the aspect of the future of which some of the contracted are not part of too long.

  • on June 22, 2012, 9:42 GMT

    Bowlers of the future: Cummins, Pattinson and Starc. Leader of the attack: Siddle, Hilfenhaus and Harris. Spinners: Doherty and Lyon. Allrounders: Watson and Johnson. Keepers: Haddin and Wade. Batsmen: Warner, Clarke, Ponting, Hussey and Hussey.

    A good balanced contract list. No point having under performers.

  • Hammond on June 22, 2012, 8:48 GMT

    Australia slash central contracts to 17? Hmmmm.. funny that England have a small central contract list. Maybe next year they will openly copy England and have a 13 player list. Imitation being the best form of flattery..

  • on June 22, 2012, 8:45 GMT

    B.Haddin does not deserve CA contract,now M.Wade is well prepared 4 d place..& 4 E.Cowan it's 2much early 2get a CA contract..&M.Johnson needs gd performance 2retain his place,&he is now also injury-prone..i expct S.Marsh,C.White,C.Ferguson,&D.Bollinger;all r quality players,after gd domestinc performance they should get few chances 4representing AUS,best of luck 4them...............

  • Ozcricketwriter on June 22, 2012, 8:43 GMT

    Haddin and Ponting are surprise choices in that squad. I would have thought that there was room for Bailey given that two players on the way out were included.

  • Dashgar on June 22, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    I missed one, how did Haddin get a deal! He's been dropped from the team and at 34 years old won't get back in. What thought process could possibly consider him for a contract.

  • dsig3 on June 22, 2012, 8:26 GMT

    Feel bad for Dan Christian. Never really rated him but he really grew on me watching him on the summer.

  • Qudhar on June 22, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    It seems to be a good move,atleast players have to work that extra much to earn deals, unfair though for brett lee i think he deserves a deal because he will be able to help the young lads who are coming in to replace him ie Cummins and Pattison.

  • on June 22, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    Glad Cowan is gone, he is rubbish. But Mitchell Johnson... how on earth, and WHY on earth do they persist with him? He couldnt even take a single wicket against a county side, after he should have been utterly raring to go after a long lay-off.. absolute waste of a space taken.

  • on June 22, 2012, 8:00 GMT

    Out with the new and in with the old! Not entirely sure that Invers and co. are any better than Hilditch etc. To keep on players that are neither playing nor performing (Haddin and Johnson) whilst excluding players that are playing and/or performing well (McKay, Cowan and Bailey) is ludicrous. Certainly to leave Bailey out when he is captain in one format displays a complete lack of tact and does not bode well for his future beyond the T20 WC.

  • PureTom on June 22, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    So I'm guessing Ponting and Haddin's contracts are a golden handshake. Ponting only plays tests and could have got a Tasmania contract and been upgraded later if he played 3 tests. How Haddin can still be the first choice test keeper with the form Wade has shown is a bit of a boggle.Haddin also only plays tests, so upgrade him if he plays 3. Johnson also seems a somewhat undeserving beneficiary, but I'm guessing that with his fragile ego CA are afraid he'd throw in the towel if they axed him.

  • potofazherbaizan on June 22, 2012, 6:52 GMT

    Cowan-Warner broken. Whattahead!

  • HawK89 on June 22, 2012, 6:49 GMT

    Australia may get bowled out for under 50 again. That said, their bowling line up looks like they will bowl sides out for a small total as well.

  • jmcilhinney on June 22, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    One point to note is that the number of contracted players is now 17-20, so there are actually still three contracts available. Maybe CA are looking for some good showings from a few batsmen before adding them to the list, mush as ECB recently left James Taylor out of the EPP until he made that hundred for the Lions against WI. As I said earlier though, I would have thought that Haddin and Johnson should have been in the same boat.

  • sifter132 on June 22, 2012, 6:45 GMT

    It's pretty simple, Cowan isn't one of the 17 most important cricketers in Australia. As soon as Shaun Marsh finds form, I think Cowan is out.

  • RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on June 22, 2012, 6:45 GMT

    happy to see Ryan Harris retained despite injury worries. Simply, Australia's best ever quickie alongwith McGrath and Lillee

  • God_Tendulkar98 on June 22, 2012, 6:43 GMT

    Pace attack looks good. Ed Cowan unfortunate.

  • jmcilhinney on June 22, 2012, 6:43 GMT

    I can't help thinking that contracts for Haddin and Johnson should have at least been deferred. They say that Haddin is still the first choice for Test keeping duties but I'm not sure what that's based on really as Haddin is not going to get any better and Wade has shown that he's just as capable right now and he is likely to improve. As for Johnson, he's still ranked quite highly in ODIs but is there really much guarantee (some may say likelihood) that he'll stay that way after a big drop-off in form in Tests and a long period away from the game due to injury? Surely those two should at least need to make a good performance or two to justify being contracted for the next twelve months.

  • Rishiking on June 22, 2012, 6:41 GMT

    THIS IS CRAZY! HOW DO THEY NOT GET A CONTRACT?!?!

  • dsig3 on June 22, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    @Jarron "How doesn't Ed Cowan get a contract?". I like him as a player and a writer, but he didnt set the world onfire over the summer. Yet to score a century and has had a few starts. Has not been facing great bowling either. The real question should be Mitch Johnson, no idea how they work that one out.

  • s.sreekant on June 22, 2012, 6:28 GMT

    iam sorry for ferguson,bailey,hastings and cowan they did did nt have much chance n fergie n hastings gt injured at the wrong time or else they did nt do any othr mistake.I thought hastings wl hav been a handy odi bolwer wh can bat a bit. right nw fergie wld have been the perfect no 5 in odi instead f forrest

  • sugwas on June 22, 2012, 6:24 GMT

    Bowling looks strong - it'll need to be; constantly defending under 200 with those aging batters

  • on June 22, 2012, 6:22 GMT

    How doesn't Ed Cowan get a contract?

  • jeauxx on June 22, 2012, 6:12 GMT

    I'm really hurting for McKay right now. He's been our best limited overs bowler for a good while and I anticipate he'll be more consistent and reliable for years to come in LO than some of the rising stars like Cummins, Pattinson and Starc.

  • RandyOZ on June 22, 2012, 6:08 GMT

    How on Earth have Johnson and Haddni retained contracts? Both are dead in the water at international level. The mind boggles.

  • HatsforBats on June 22, 2012, 6:07 GMT

    So DHussey moves into the test team and Watson moves back to opening? Thats what poor Ed Cowan could be forgiven for thinking. Only 5 specialist batsmen contracted, and only one of them under 30? Great forward thinking by CA. At least the bowling looks good.

  • BolwedNate on June 22, 2012, 6:03 GMT

    Will be a great looking Pace attack for the Aussies over the next few years!

  • jmcilhinney on June 22, 2012, 5:52 GMT

    That certainly doesn't qualify as a vote of confidence in Cowan and pretty much says that he's just holding the spot until the player they want comes along. Maybe they are hoping that Phil Hughes can crack it third time around or perhaps Usman Khawaja, although I've not heard anything specific from CA to indicate that they consider him to be an opener as Test level.

  • morethan20-20 on June 22, 2012, 5:42 GMT

    Is M Johnson some sort of mystical enchanted cricketing Pixie. He must transfix and beguile Cricket Australia, the team performs more consistently with consistent players...something Midge is not. Bad luck to Ed..the openers curse or the remnants of katich's curse.

  • satish619chandar on June 22, 2012, 5:35 GMT

    Too many bowlers in the list.. Probably shows who is going to be the force for Australia in coming years.. Apart from Clarke and Mike Hussey, none of the batsmen(Including Punte, Watto, Warner) is reliable.. Isn't D Hussey too old for tests? If Mitch and Haddin deserve a contract, why not a Cowan or Forrest on whom the selectors show massive faith.. Yes they are new and still proving.. But isn't it the same case with Cummins or Starc or even Pattinson? Leaving out batsmen on contract just doesn't look too good..

  • Mob_King on June 22, 2012, 5:21 GMT

    Ah yes, now the NZC contracted players list announced last week makes much more sense.

    I guess it turns out all Australian cricket planners are nuts.

  • venkatesh018 on June 22, 2012, 5:20 GMT

    9 Bowlers, 2 Keepers and Only 6 batsmen awarded contracts-Where are the next generation of great Aussie batsmen?

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  • venkatesh018 on June 22, 2012, 5:20 GMT

    9 Bowlers, 2 Keepers and Only 6 batsmen awarded contracts-Where are the next generation of great Aussie batsmen?

  • Mob_King on June 22, 2012, 5:21 GMT

    Ah yes, now the NZC contracted players list announced last week makes much more sense.

    I guess it turns out all Australian cricket planners are nuts.

  • satish619chandar on June 22, 2012, 5:35 GMT

    Too many bowlers in the list.. Probably shows who is going to be the force for Australia in coming years.. Apart from Clarke and Mike Hussey, none of the batsmen(Including Punte, Watto, Warner) is reliable.. Isn't D Hussey too old for tests? If Mitch and Haddin deserve a contract, why not a Cowan or Forrest on whom the selectors show massive faith.. Yes they are new and still proving.. But isn't it the same case with Cummins or Starc or even Pattinson? Leaving out batsmen on contract just doesn't look too good..

  • morethan20-20 on June 22, 2012, 5:42 GMT

    Is M Johnson some sort of mystical enchanted cricketing Pixie. He must transfix and beguile Cricket Australia, the team performs more consistently with consistent players...something Midge is not. Bad luck to Ed..the openers curse or the remnants of katich's curse.

  • jmcilhinney on June 22, 2012, 5:52 GMT

    That certainly doesn't qualify as a vote of confidence in Cowan and pretty much says that he's just holding the spot until the player they want comes along. Maybe they are hoping that Phil Hughes can crack it third time around or perhaps Usman Khawaja, although I've not heard anything specific from CA to indicate that they consider him to be an opener as Test level.

  • BolwedNate on June 22, 2012, 6:03 GMT

    Will be a great looking Pace attack for the Aussies over the next few years!

  • HatsforBats on June 22, 2012, 6:07 GMT

    So DHussey moves into the test team and Watson moves back to opening? Thats what poor Ed Cowan could be forgiven for thinking. Only 5 specialist batsmen contracted, and only one of them under 30? Great forward thinking by CA. At least the bowling looks good.

  • RandyOZ on June 22, 2012, 6:08 GMT

    How on Earth have Johnson and Haddni retained contracts? Both are dead in the water at international level. The mind boggles.

  • jeauxx on June 22, 2012, 6:12 GMT

    I'm really hurting for McKay right now. He's been our best limited overs bowler for a good while and I anticipate he'll be more consistent and reliable for years to come in LO than some of the rising stars like Cummins, Pattinson and Starc.

  • on June 22, 2012, 6:22 GMT

    How doesn't Ed Cowan get a contract?