ACB announces 2002-03 contracted players list
Australian Cricket Board (ACB) Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland today announced that the National Selection Panel (NSP) had selected the 25 players to be contracted by the Board for the next 12 months.
The players are:
New South Wales Blues (NSW) fast bowler Stuart Clark has been offered his first ACB contract.
Western Warriors left-hand batsman Mike Hussey has been offered his second contract, after being on the list two years ago.
Andrew Bichel, Nathan Hauritz, Jimmy Maher, Shane Watson and Brad Williams were added to the list of contracted players during the 2001-02 season and each player has had their contract renewed for 2002-03.
Greg Blewett (SA), Damien Fleming (VIC), Simon Katich (WA), Shane Lee (NSW), Colin Miller (VIC), Ashley Noffke (QLD), Michael Slater (NSW) and Wade Secombe (QLD) have not been offered new contracts.
Mr Sutherland said that the NSP, which comprises Trevor Hohns (Chairman), David Boon, Allan Border and Andrew Hilditch, had nominated the 25 players based on two primary criteria:
- the form of the players over the past 12 months; and
- their likelihood of Australian selection over the next 12 months taking into account who Australia plays, balance of the side and the need to ensure the future development of the Test and one-day international teams.
"The National Selection Panel has a difficult task in nominating 25 players for Australian Cricket Board contracts each year," he said.
"The list for this year boasts a good mix of youth and experience and presents a talented crop from which to choose the Australian team.
"Like the selection of any squad, some players will be disappointed, but they can be comforted in the knowledge that exclusion from the list does not end the chance of gaining Australian selection at any stage this year."
Clark was offered a contract following a successful 2001-02 season with the New South Wales Blues. The paceman took 45 first-class wickets and gained Australia A selection for its two one-day internationals against New Zealand and South Africa in January 2002.
The 26-year-old said he was delighted to hear the news of his new contract.
"I'm absolutely thrilled that my hard work over the past few years has paid off," he said.
"I have been in the mix for a Blues pace bowling spot for a while, but it was only this year that I was able to grab my opportunities.
"I was happy with my form and consistency in both forms of the game last season and hopefully I can continue that for the Blues next year.
"The contract will give me some extra confidence going into the new season because I'll know that I'm in the selectors eyes for higher honours in the future."
Hussey enjoyed a domestic season for the Western Warriors that saw him lead the run-scorers list in the ING Cup (440 runs with a strike rate of 79.71) and finish with 621 Pura Cup runs. Along the way, he pocketed $200,000 after hitting the ING Cup sign at the WACA Ground on 13 February 2002 against the NSW Blues.
The 26-year-old is captaining county cricket club Northamptonshire in the United Kingdom this winter. Hussey enjoyed a run-feast for the county in the 2001 English season - he headed the first-class runs-scorers list with 2055 runs in 16 first class matches, including a highest score of 329 not out against Essex at Northampton.
The contracted players are the core group from which players will be drawn for both Tests and one-day internationals in the year ahead. Uncontracted players remain eligible for Australian selection and can be upgraded to an ACB contract if they gain regular selection.
The contracted players will be paid a base retainer, which is levelled according to a player ranking system. Each player also receives match fees, tour fees and prize money for on-field success.
Under a formula agreed with the Australian Cricketers' Association as part of the Memorandum of Understanding, the minimum amount for the base retainer offered to the lowest ranked contracted player in 2002-03 is $110,000, up $15,000 from last year.
The highest ranked player will receive a base retainer of around $440,000, up $15,000 from last year.