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Ashes contenders miss out on CA contracts

Daniel Brettig

April 3, 2013

Comments: 108 | Text size: A | A

Steven Smith drives down the ground, India v Australia, 4th Test, Delhi, 1st day, March 22, 2013
Steve Smith missed out on a Cricket Australia contract © BCCI
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Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja, Jackson Bird and Moises Henriques, all potential Ashes tourists, have been omitted from Cricket Australia's list of centrally contracted players for 2013-14. The initial list of players was expanded from last year's 17 to 20, the maximum allowable figure under the current MOU with the players union.

As has been the case for some time, multi-format players stand a better chance of earning the immediate financial security of a CA contract than all but the highest-ranked Test match specialists, something that counted against Bird and Khawaja in particular. In their places were the likes of George Bailey, Clint McKay and Xavier Doherty, all regulars in the ODI and Twenty20 teams.

While CA does not release the player rankings, it is believed that Mitchell Starc was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the extra money freed up by the retirements of Michael Hussey and Ricky Ponting. However the selection of 20 players allowed the national selectors to broaden the spread of remuneration at a time when Australian cricket has fewer outstanding performers to call on than at any stage in recent years.

The selectors' concerns about the lack of batting depth available to them was confirmed by the inclusion of only six specialist batsmen among the 20. This included Bailey, who made only one first-class 50 all summer, and the vice-captain Shane Watson. Only the captain Michael Clarke could truly be said to have earned his batting keep over the past year.

Cricket Australia contracted players 2013-14

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

"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," the national selector John Inverarity said.

"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.

"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.

"George Bailey has been one of our most successful ODI batsmen since he debuted in that format in March 2012. Clint McKay's success as an ODI player was reflected in him being awarded Australia's One Day Player of The Year at the Allan Border Medal.

"The National Selection Panel is very impressed by the manner in which James Faulkner has been performing and developing. He is a very competitive young man who consistently manages to have an impact on games with both bat and ball. Glenn Maxwell is a talented young player who has had opportunity invested in him. He is very aware that he needs to tighten his game and perform with greater impact and consistency."

Ryan Harris retained his contract despite not playing for Australia during the past year due to his elongated recovery from shoulder surgery. However his strong return to wicket-taking form with Queensland in the closing stages of the season had Inverarity enthusiastic about utilising Harris during the Ashes in England, albeit not in every Test.

"I think all of us got quite excited at the end of the season when he bowled here [in Perth], and then the final down in Hobart when he bowled very well," Inverarity said. "He's a very good bowler Ryan Harris. But at his stage it would be unlikely that he would be able to do all five Tests but we'll see how that goes.

"I spoke to Ryan just a day or two before he went to India, so he's feeling good and he'll be working very hard. He's mindful of the prospect of being in England for either or both of the Champions Trophy and the Ashes tour. He's certainly got that in his mind and working towards it."

As for the developing story of the legspinner Fawad Ahmed, Inverarity said that the selectors were waiting patiently for the outcome of Federal Government deliberations over his granting of an Australian passport.

"Fawad Ahmed is a player of significant interest to us, but we're just waiting quietly for his qualification and we just don't know when that's going to happen," Inverarity said. "So we'll respond when there is further information about that."

Apart from Michael Hussey and Ponting exiting the international game, David Hussey also lost his contract and will require an extraordinary resurgence in run-scoring form to regain his place over the next year.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Paul_Rampley on (April 8, 2013, 11:22 GMT)

@hyclass i am on the Khawaja bandwagon, no doubt about that he is one of our finest batting talents, just needs a go which hopefully comes in the ashes. And its not easy being a selector, they do a good job and are largely not thanked for their work but its important to remember that they like us want Aus cricket to be number 1 and are not out to make friends.

Posted by hycIass on (April 6, 2013, 12:06 GMT)

@SK7648 I actually think that's a bit harsh, I've read all the blogs on this forum, and a vast majority understand that Khawaja is not the new Bradman, most understand it's dangerous to pump up his tyres to much, the point hasn't been missed, the reason this guy has an army is because people feel he's been unfairly treated, the real point should of been how Maximum Maxi and Haddin get the big dollar contracts.

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (April 5, 2013, 12:54 GMT)

@Fleming At present we are on an all mighty decline that is gathering moment. Last series lost 4 tests in one series. In Siddons / Lehmann era hardly a test was last…..Also in their era Messers Maxwell and co (all players picked in front of Uz) would of struggled to make State Teams little own National Teams….All of the above have peformed in FC cricket on a similar or lesser level than Uz however continue to receive more support and opportunities than Khawaja, surely its time to get the classy leftie in. @AbhishekBharadwaj well said champ.

Posted by AKS286 on (April 5, 2013, 9:39 GMT)

If Aus will show some trust and developing Smith then he is the good almost best contender for Captain in Odis & T20 too. Bailey is not bad but better options than bailey are available. Test- klinger, Watson(if he bowl), Marsh, Clarke, Ferguson/Forrest, haddin/paine, Smith, Siddle, pattinson, MJ, Beer/Boyce. Odi- Watson, Finch, Marsh, Ferguson, clarke, Paine/haddin/handscomb, Smith, MJ, Starc, Mckay, Beer/ Hauritz. T20- Watson,White, Finch, Warner, Voges, Smith(C), handscomb/Haddin, MJ, Starc, Cutting, Beer.

Posted by   on (April 5, 2013, 6:25 GMT)

@Joseph, You seem to be wanting to make this all about test performances only, while i´d like that too, it´s simply not the way it is. Starc was the best fast bowler in the tournament in the T20 World Cup and has done consistently well in ODI cricket too. That he hasn´t been consistent yet at test level is frustrating but its more about his lack of preparation and handling than his lack of talent. He has also proven himself to be pretty durable and looks to be a good bat too. I don´t know what more you could ask of the young bloke.

Posted by Mary_786 on (April 5, 2013, 0:28 GMT)

Watson, Warner, Hughes, Khawaja, Clarke, Smith, Wade, Siddle, Pattinson, Harris, Lyon should be the team for the first ashes test, but long way to go till then.

Posted by   on (April 4, 2013, 19:53 GMT)

These contracts make no sense whatsoever, how does Maxwell get a contract and not Bird? Bird was man of the match in the only test he played, he is a long term prospect and should have been rewarded, Maxwell needs to work on his batting and bowling and therefore should still be working towards a contract and not rewarded for some very poor performances. I am scared that none of these guys have a clue about who is performing and who is not and therefore will pick the wrong side for the Ashes and we will end up losing as we did in India and by the way I really think we can stuff the Poms, we have a far superior bowling lineup and our batsmen should fair a lot better then they did in India, I hope they pick the right team though. Warner, Watson, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Haddin, Starc, Bird, Pattinson, Lyon and Alam or Siddle depending on the conditions.

Posted by   on (April 4, 2013, 19:26 GMT)

@ Jono Makim .... I am just comparing his importance and pay rate (as inferred by the media) to other bowlers in the team.

In India he only took 2-wickets and do you forget his performance in Hobart where Hilfenhaus broke down .... in the 2nd Innings Siddle bowled his heart out until Starc showed up to clean up the tail, and then Starc was dropped.

I am one person who thinks that there should be a base rate and a performance rate. If the Team doesn't perform then you have more money for player development.

Posted by   on (April 4, 2013, 16:35 GMT)

Like others posting here i´d much rather see more of a leaning towards test specialists rather than limited overs cricketers. Principally because it is these players that need to be kept away from T20 leagues where possible and rewarded financially for commiting to test cricket. I guess Jackson Bird is the guy I really feel for here, I guess the selectors can´t see his skills for the pace of some of the other young blokes.

@Joseph Langford, pretty harsh on Mitch Starc, the guy does play all 3 formats.

@Zenboomerang, terrific post!

Posted by Adoh on (April 4, 2013, 9:09 GMT)

So, "He is very aware that he needs to tighten his game and perform with greater impact and consistency", merit based selection wins the day again. Pathetic.

Posted by Amith_S on (April 4, 2013, 8:31 GMT)

Flemingmitch fantastic comments, I old personally have Watson bowling if he is bowling, Khawaja is our best 3 but you never commented on Johnson, surely you must rate him as we'll as he is a match winner

Posted by AKS286 on (April 4, 2013, 6:37 GMT)

About Faulkner he is an allrounder or a can bat bowler???? Instead of G.Bailey i will go for Smith. Smith , White, Haddin are better option of captain in T20. Now rogers & Voges are considered so why not Klinger for cowan. Beer- no comments for you fella but I miss your presence in India. when i saw jadeja bowling accuracy, steady, pace then i thought your similar bowling definitely be effective.

Posted by AKS286 on (April 4, 2013, 6:16 GMT)

Not good but fair selection except of few. thanks to selectors and a good decision for omitting the very highly overrated ordinary, below avg batsman khawja. intresting fact is 10 bowlers, 5 batsmen, 2 WK, 3 all rounders. I think due to injury problem they selected more bowler. Faulkner, Maxwell are selected on the basis of T20. Player missing S.Marsh, Voges, Paine, Bird, etc. What about Cowan, warner? no reason for them. I heard that Warner can't play spin in IPL too.

Posted by Meety on (April 4, 2013, 5:12 GMT)

@MrArmchairCricket on (April 3, 2013, 6:25 GMT) - by the way mate, Faulkner DID get a contract! Also - when you say that Doherty "...was close to our best spinner..." - the Test you are talking about he was up against Maxwell! Maxwell & Lyon easily out performed Doherty & I suspecct any one of Agar, Beer, SO'K, Boyce or Krezja would of done better than Doherty did in India.

Posted by V-Man_ on (April 4, 2013, 4:20 GMT)

How does Maxwell, Doherty and Wade get a contract and O'keefe, Steve smith, Khawaja and Henrique don't!!!!! Can any one help with this equation??? I reckon Einstein would straggle to solve this equation.

Posted by OneEyedAussie on (April 4, 2013, 3:43 GMT)

@MrArmchairCricket on (April 3, 2013, 6:25 GMT) : Doherty averages 45 FC and 78 in Test cricket. His figures are in no way superior to Beer, Holland or SO'K. Fair enough, Beer and Holland have been injured, but SO'K has not. This just begs the question: why the preference for Doherty over O'Keefe?

Posted by KhanMitch on (April 4, 2013, 3:00 GMT)

My comments on some of our key players are as follows: Cowan - love his tenacity & the fact he truly cares about his wicket Warner - gifted enough to dominate (if he does it once every 2/3 tests that's enough) Khawaja - best no.3 option in the country and fantastic future prospect if he cang get is chance Clarke - He is in exceptional form Smith - liked his form & application over last 2 years (& in India) Hughes - clearly not good enough to open at the moment but still a massive talent Paine - if he is alive & breathing he is so far ahead of Wade it is not funny Siddle - so much heart & good enough bat to be our "all-rounder" Pattinson - best real quick & good bat too Lyon - proven to be our best spinner Harris - One of our best quicks when fit

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (April 4, 2013, 1:13 GMT)

@blink182 i am sure mate that the likes of Henriques and Khawjaa will get upgrades if they take their chances, Khawaja will have it tough being thrown against the best bowling attack in July but i think he is up to it and will show his class. @Amith i know T20 takes away from building innings but you also have to appreicate the other side of T20 which gives some amazing matches, take the IPL and Big Bash for example, some fantastic matches have come in the last few years in this format in both tournaments.

Posted by handyandy on (April 4, 2013, 1:09 GMT)

Doherty ... really?

I also think that Cummins and Maxwell can consider themselves lucky.

It is good to James Faulkner getting a contract in front of Henriques. Hopefully he will now go on to be Australia's first choice all rounder.

Posted by V-Man_ on (April 4, 2013, 0:30 GMT)

CA is becoming a joke, Or dare I say there are becoming Ijaz Butt. Lol

Posted by Nerk on (April 3, 2013, 23:40 GMT)

Whilst Bailey's numbers at first class level are modest, I think he has the ability to be a solid contributor at test level. In fact, I find it most unusual that one of the few batsmen in Australia with the right temperement for test cricket it the captain of the OD and 20/20 team!

Posted by Ramu444 on (April 3, 2013, 22:16 GMT)

what a poor decision to leave Khawja,Shaun Marsh,David Hussey out of the list.it makes me really laugh to see there is no more talent there in the Australian cricket and CA made themselves a laughing stock of the world cricket as they are so eagerly waiting for that Pak Asylum seeker,that guy is just an ordinary bowler(i know him personally,all his stories are fake including his age,by the way he is 37 yr old not 31)if he is such a good spinner then why he was never considered for Pakistan but may be the Bar is too low in Australia nowadays,,,,,,,,.

Posted by cric_sj on (April 3, 2013, 21:36 GMT)

What Happened with India in past is now happening with Aus. They are enrolling a side which looks strong on paper and not on field. Even a five year old will not pick Hughes his "B" team after seeing his performance in India tour. Shane Watson is overrated.

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 21:07 GMT)

I have always maintained wrong team selection can contribute to your demise, as we have seen in India and we will see it in England again. I think Bird is one of the best bowlers in Australia, and should be on the team. He maintains a good line, consistent length and scarcely bowl a short ball. Johnson and company make a living on bowling short and wide deliveries and unless they are properly coached to pitch the ball up and vary the bowling with inswing I don't see Australia winning any competition any time soon.

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 20:21 GMT)

So, so pathetically weak.

Starc .... played 1 of 4 Tests against India (2011/12), 1 of 3 Tests WI, 1 of 3 Tests SA, 2 of 3 Tests SL, 2 of 4 Tests India (2013) and has a Bowling Average of 34. Does he get paid more than Siddle and Pattinson now??

Cummins?? Doesn't even play!!!

Wade dropped catches/missed stumpings SA and SL. Toured India and dropped catches/missed stumpings in first 2-tests .... missed 3rd Test .... returned for 4th test and dropped catches/missed stumpings.

"Glenn Maxwell is a talented young player who has had opportunity invested in him." So you are going to continue selecting GM in front of UTK??

XD can barely hold a bat and only takes wickets in games where batsmen are throwing them away.

You simply will not turn around Australia's Cricket performance with these people making decisions pertaining to Australia's cricket future.

Posted by cricket-freak on (April 3, 2013, 17:10 GMT)

It should have been Moises Henriques in place of Ed Cowan....Till now we have just been hearing that Cowan is a gifted batsman,but it has not been proved..While Henriques was the only one capable enough,alongside Clarke to handle the tough conditions in India recently...batted like a veteran on his debut...and can bowl and field well too..And Shaun Marsh and David Hussey are being ignored as if they don't exist whereas nobody can doubt their capability.

Posted by blink182alex on (April 3, 2013, 13:04 GMT)

Should of stuck with 17 men, there was no need to give a contract to Maxwell, Faulkner or Hilfenhaus. I am a big fan of Faulkner but i think you have to be involved with the test squad or be a odi regular to get a contract. Hilfy has dropped way down the pecking order with Bird overtaking him. Smith, Henriques and Khawaja should not of got contracts either, although Khawaja should earn one if he comes into the test side.

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (April 3, 2013, 12:05 GMT)

@Amith its a shame our young batsman our focused as much on T20 as they are on test cricket. You mentioned Khawaja as a good example of someone who puts test cricket as his priority, another one is Cowan, we need more guys like these who make test cricket their priority.

Posted by heathrf1974 on (April 3, 2013, 11:33 GMT)

Steve Smith should be there and Ben Hilfenhaus is past it. Cummins is not required to receive a contract, he's not fit and has not played for 18 months. Maxwell has done very little to receive a contract at this point as well.

Posted by Amith_S on (April 3, 2013, 11:30 GMT)

The contracts are not just to cover test cricket but all three forms of the game. Perhaps CA are expecting a half-baked all-rounder in the short from of the game to be successful at test cricket? Out of the contracted all-rounders, Falkner looks to have the best chance of offering something at test level. Maxwell offers bugger all at any level. His one day and T20 stats are just as second rate as his Test form.@TimHolt there were some positive comments from Inevarity on Khawaja and i expect him not only to be in the ashes squad but the first test of the ashes, selectors know our batting is the weakness in the coming series and Khawaja is a must.

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 11:24 GMT)

Cowan @ Maxwell have got a central contract????what next???Make them the captain and VC????Smith is a better batsman than both put together and Khawaja is a better batsman than Smith.....at least the omission of Bird and Henriques can be explained but I think with this list if Aus manages to get back Ashes it will be as big a surprise as Border's 87 WC win

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (April 3, 2013, 11:23 GMT)

Test players should be given preference over ODI and t20 players. We have players currently in the test team not given contracts, yet players who will never play test cricket are. This is possibly one reason why Australia's test performances are dropping.

What's more important though is selecting 6 specialist batsman, 1 'keeper and 4 specialist bowlers in the test team and dismiss this idea of giving a bloke a go in test cicket just because he's shown promise in t20.

Posted by reddawn1975 on (April 3, 2013, 11:11 GMT)

Yeah there are quite a few players around the country that should have been on that list i think Cricket Australia has lost there minds.The only good thing to come from Steve Smith didn't get a contract he played a couple of good games but he is useless and i am an Australian...

Posted by monisri on (April 3, 2013, 10:27 GMT)

Inverarity has no variety as he has given variety of reasons for contracts and no-contracts. Selectors and the management on tour of India messed up many things and lost the series. The margin of defeat is unacceptable for a team like Australia. Its time the selectors are taken to chopping board and make the way for different set of selectors before the Ashes. The Ashes series will make the team lose its character. Public want to see the Australians to fight to the bitter end and victorious in the Ashes series. Players seem to be confused with the policy of the selectors and their level of confidence in the playing field too has gone to all time low. -Aussie Cricket Lover - Moni-

Posted by GeoffreysMother on (April 3, 2013, 10:07 GMT)

It is interesting that it only seems to be Cricket Australia that has a problem with Khawaja. They certainly seem to be doing their best to brass him off.

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 10:07 GMT)

Australia once again showing they never learn by once more rewarding 'potential' rather than 'consistent performance' with the contract to Starc.

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 9:54 GMT)

why CA doing job like this??? this is absolutely horrible...STEVEN SMITH is really a good batsman...he can play spin bowling as well as pace bowling...in India tour no one like warner, cowan, hughes, watto etc have played good against spin...but SMITh has played really awesome against spin...if AUSSIES want to be a strong team they should remove cowan, warner, hughes etc...performance is not everything...technique is everything, intelligence is everything...cowan, warner, hughes neither have good technique nor intelligence...CA should give chance ALEX DOOLAN, ADAM VOGES, GEORGE BAILEY, ALEX ROSS(young player but has excellent batting style & technique)...VOGES, BAILEY are all useful batsmen than cowan, warner, hughes where ALEX DOOLAN is a excellent batsman...he is top class...he should be got chance...in bowling attack HILFENHAUS should be back...I don't want SIDDLE cause he has not that thing which should have a fast bowler...so I want ALISTER MCDERMOTT...

Posted by Wefinishthis on (April 3, 2013, 9:53 GMT)

The selectors have got to get this idea out of their heads that Limited Overs performance is more important for test selection that Shield performance. The ball is different, the pitches are different, the bowlers bowl differently (containing runs vs luring a batsman into a false shot), the batsmen bat differently (score runs quickly vs cleverly) and overall the rules are different. It's a different game that require different tactics. Watson, Doherty, Maxwell etc are all fine ODI players, but they are NOT test players (though Maxwell was our best bowler in India). Similarly Steyn and Philander are the best two bowlers in the world, but they're not great limited overs bowlers. Some players are good in all forms of the game but that's because they approach both games differently and just happen to be good at both! If the Australian selectors picked the South African squad, I doubt Steyn, Philander, Du Plessis etc would even be in the test side! It's so painfully obvious to all but them.

Posted by _Australian_ on (April 3, 2013, 9:48 GMT)

I have an issue with why we give contracts in the first place. It does nothing but line the pockets of who is assumed to peform well and play for Australia. I would rather see the Captain get a contract only and the rest get paid a bonus for being selected for a game (12 players), a bonus for being selected for a tour. The rest should be match payments that are enormous for winning a game, also big for drawing a game and poor for losing a game. On top of that bonuses for contributions of runs/wickets/catches/runouts. Watch how well they all play then. I suppose a player who is injured whilst representing should be entitled to compensation as well.

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 9:32 GMT)

You cant change the side every time you lose. It appears that the aussies dont know who their best players are.

Posted by Amith_S on (April 3, 2013, 9:24 GMT)

@land47 you make some very good points. The production line of young batsmen from the Under Age level to Shield level is bare. Most of them are interested in playing 20-20 cricket ahead of working on their 4 to 5 day game. Jordan Silk and Usman Khawaja have more talent than Phil Hughes and Ed Cowan whilst George Bailiey's selection reminds some of the batsman on that list. Silk needs time to develop but Khawaja is ready and his non selection is hard to swallow as he was in great domestic form(2nd in both Ryobi and shield) until christmas break and then stayed on the bench after that.,Aaron Finch cannot score a run in a Shield match because he is more interested in accepting the 20-20 coin from India. But, from previous history, some players on the contracted list don't play for Australia anyway ie Cameron White. I am not taking too much notice of this list, our ashes team will include at least 5 players who are not on today's list.

Posted by Beertjie on (April 3, 2013, 9:20 GMT)

@RicsRubish on (April 3, 2013, 6:56 GMT) Great post, absolutely loved it !Agree entirely about how undeserving Cowan is to receive a contract, @ goldeneraaus (April 3, 2013, 3:02 GMT). @docbob on (April 3, 2013, 8:41 GMT) Excellent post on the way the selection panel OUGHT to think. Whatever we may think, CA is set on destroying our chances until we are so poor and lowly in the rankings that some really radical overhaul will be mandated (maybe by the Govt.!).

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 9:16 GMT)

Dear John Inverarity,

You now owe me a major dry cleaning bill after seeing this article.

Love and thanks again,

An England Supporter.x

Posted by hycIass on (April 3, 2013, 8:55 GMT)

I presume the contracts are for players in any form of the game, not tests only. The ashes are the biggest thing for true cricket fans but increasingly, T20 dominates the scene.Players not offered a contract here are obviously still possible team selections in one form of the game or the other, while those offered contracts will not necessarily play for Australia in all (or any) forms of the game. Doherty was included but that doesn't mean he'll be picked in the Ashes or other tests, nor Maxwell either. Clarke is most unlikely to play T20 for his country again. Khawaja is a near certainty for the ashes or should be and him ont getting a contract won't impact his chances for the ashes and Inevarity made that very clear. Ultimately the 2 ashes will sort out for us who are top 6 batsman are and the likes of Khawaja and Hughes will cement their spots in those series.

Posted by RDLikesCricket on (April 3, 2013, 8:47 GMT)

Has George Bailey not been considered good enough to play Test Matches? Seems to posses the technique to be able to play longer innings. We hear a lot about Khawaja who never got to play in India. Smith is neither there nor here.. but showed good composure in India. Whatever happened to Peter Forrest? He was one batsman that impressed more than a year ago in the ODIs against India and SL. Injured Or Forgotten as a Flash-In-the-pan entity?

Posted by cheenar-khan on (April 3, 2013, 8:42 GMT)

poor khwaja and smith. feel for them.

Posted by docbob on (April 3, 2013, 8:41 GMT)

The only consistency in all of this is that the selectors have demonstrated, yet again, that they just don't have a clue! Are we not supposed to encourage good performances? Tell that to Steve Smith! And isn't it about time that Glenn Maxwell was cut loose? How many chances does he get? But of course, "he has potential". Give me Steve O'Keefe any day. And how confused must Usman Khawaja be? He can't be accused of squandering his chances, as he hasn't been given any.Tim Paine must be wondering what he has done wrong. Australia's rebuilding is going to take time, not happen overnight. So pick a genuine mix of proven, seasoned performers (Clarke, Siddle, Lyon), Those who have grasped a recent chance and done well (Pattinson, Starc, Smith, Cowan, Warner), a few who show REAL promise (Faulkner, Khawaja, O'Keefe) and then fill in the gaps around them with "the best of the rest".Having done so, persist with them and build confidence in the group rather than chopping and changing!

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 8:21 GMT)

@RicsRubish - Well summed up mate! Seriously there is something alot more sinister behind our selection panel. How on earth can anyone justify this squad??? How Khawaja and Smith missed out is beyond me! especially Khawaja.. What's the point of busting your back side off in shield cricket when your the the 2nd highest run scorer?? Oh i see! it's to get picked in the India series, then get dropped without even playing a game for not doing your homework, then not get picked again for a dead rubber and to top it all off, not being given a CA contract when your apparently a top 6 test batsman in the country!!! wow CA! truly amazing!!!

Posted by Thefakebook on (April 3, 2013, 8:15 GMT)

The day Maxwell was picked over Usman is the day OZ selectors lost their mind completely.

Posted by GermanPlayer on (April 3, 2013, 8:13 GMT)

There was a time when a certain Michael Hussey had to wait a decade because the Australian team was too good to break into. That was when people thought you had to play club cricket for about a decade before you could play for Australia. But nowadays I am sure even a player at U19 level would not be surprised at a call up to the team!

Posted by zenboomerang on (April 3, 2013, 8:11 GMT)

I don't think missing out on a central contract is such a big deal for players just coming into the squad - a probationary period to see if they handle the up-grade makes sense...

What I'm finding it difficult to understand is why Haddin gets a contract? OK we need a 2nd keeper for the Eng series & the CT being held in Eng - but a contract?... Cummins should be put under a different contract (youth policy) to keep out of the IPL - a bit like what Vic did with Alex Keath to keep him out of AFL...

Some of the other contracts are a bit wishy-washy but no one else is standing up to take their spots at present - though much of that is CA's fault for building such a disjointed cricket season without a central focus on one format or the other at that time of the year...

Posted by VillageBlacksmith on (April 3, 2013, 8:10 GMT)

odds on ponting and hussey being forced to return, the cupboard is totally bare when one sees haddin selected as a specialist batsman & maxwell opening the batting and bowling...

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (April 3, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

I generally agree with the contract list. They represent 20 players who are always in the mix in all 3 formats. George Bailey, for example, should be playing tests and this indicates that he might be in the future. While Smith and Henriques played tests in India, they didn't play all of them and their future isn't assured. Khawaja hasn't played any international cricket for some time, so obviously is on the outer. Bird, while he did do well in his first couple of tests, just isn't solidly in the side. Doherty, for all of his bashers, is a regular in both the T20 and ODI sides, and also played some tests, so obviously warrants a contract. Hughes and Haddin were somewhat lucky to get contracts as it is quite possible that neither will play another international; but I suppose that they are currently in the mix so why not? As with most other years, this contract list simply represents players who are currently in the side, not those who should be. A good list.

Posted by straightbreakbowler6 on (April 3, 2013, 7:57 GMT)

What is with the love affair of maxwell a 20/20 specialist and slogging batsman.Khwaga is stiff, he has been badly messed around.David Hussey should have gone to India where he would have been invaluable as an experienced batsman and spinner-so much for the policy of horses for coarses! Voges and Rogers were also unlucky to have not played a part in India as they have experience.The Ashes will be a tough contest, no room for rookies finding their feet.Good to see Harris back as he will lead the attack and I do like the inclusion of faulkner as he is a player who does something with both bat and ball.The Aussie batting line up was brittle over the summer and India series with Hussey and Clarke carrying the team at home and only little cameos from other batsman.Warner is too inconsitant and Watson not much better. hopefully Waton can offer a few overs and should be the other opener along with Cowans (until someone else puts their hand up).Sayers would have been a good pick, dangerous.

Posted by nzcricket174 on (April 3, 2013, 7:53 GMT)

This shows that CA does not rate Tests as high as the limited forms.

Posted by Behind_the_bowlers_arm on (April 3, 2013, 7:51 GMT)

Agree with the point that the 20 names should be the best 20 Test candidates to encourage them and prioritise that format. ODI & t20 specialists getting contracts when they have the IPL and endless ODI's (incl Champions Trophy this year ) to make their money is bonkers. What signal does it send out that a very good Test bowler like Jackson Bird gets nothing while a bit part player like Glenn Maxwell gets more money to top up his outlandish IPL contract? Can CA not see that or are they just rewarding those who will sell more fried chicken rather than win Test matches? Is it too late for Usman Khawaja to declare for Pakistan? He seems to be being kicked down at every step.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (April 3, 2013, 7:46 GMT)

Bailey - Is there really no one else? The answer is a great big No. Australia really have no quality batsmen, spinner or decent captain. England are literally itching to play them in this historic B2B Ashes year.

Posted by Big-Dog on (April 3, 2013, 7:41 GMT)

Smith is overrated so i'm not suprised he missed out. Can't understand why Maxwell, Haddin & Johnson retained their contracts. What a waste of time & money.

Posted by Chris_P on (April 3, 2013, 7:39 GMT)

@tomjas. Have you ever seen Faulkner play? Have a look at his fc stats, a career average of 22 with 125 wickets in 34 games suggest something a little better than "straight up and down medium pace" There would be few current first class cricketers with a lower average plus a fc batting average of 29+. @Chris Gibson, have a gander at Bailey's fc record this season for your answer. I would suggest the logic of Cummins inclusion is to keep him on the books rather than hook up with a T20 tourney. Doherty & MJ? Disappointing hardly sums it up.

Posted by KhanMitch on (April 3, 2013, 7:35 GMT)

Good poins Sunil but surely Khawaja can think himself unlucky given he has been on the bench since christmas, and i also would have like to see Marsh there. I also think the slectors are being too generous on the batsman who went ot india and played. Brad Haddin was good in his day but we have two young first class keepers who are being ignored in Paine and Hartley. They should not be ignored.Neither should Jackson Bird - that guy along with Pat Cummins and James Pattinson make up the future trio of our bowling attack. As for the current crop - Warner needs a year in shield to give him a solid kick up the backside which he has had coming for quite a while, Hughes needs to work daily in the nets with bowling replicating upcoming opponents strengths (atm he needs everything to be right before he can make runs - not good enough & he needs to learn how to graft runs), Watson if he is not bowling should be dropped.

Posted by RicsRubish on (April 3, 2013, 6:56 GMT)

So lets see if I get this right 1 )Doherty is one of the top 2 spinners in Australia 2) Haddin at 36 is the second best keeper in Aust and is a good long term prospect to replace the younger Wade 3) Maxwell is a true test prospect (not sure if its his bowling or batting) 4) Bailey is a test prospect with a first class average below 40 and at 31 is a long term prospect 5) Jackson Bird is not a better bower than Hifenhaus right now or is in better form and a long term prospect 6) Steve Rixon is the best spin coach in Australia 7)Australian selectors have a well thought out long term plan to get Australia back to number 1 ranking by ???????? 8) the rotation policy has shown positive results for Australia . Did I miss something? We are a realistic chance of winning the Ashes. LOL.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (April 3, 2013, 6:53 GMT)

It's time for CA and Aus cricket fans to forget about Pat Cummins as a force at International level, for the time being at least. He has played a grand total of 4 FC games, the last being almost 18 months ago. He has been given a CC for a bit of promise he showed back in 2011. Cummins & those around him should just be looking at getting him fit enough to play an active part in the shield season in 2013-14, if he can manage that then who knows perhaps a bright future may yet exist for him.

Posted by Moppa on (April 3, 2013, 6:50 GMT)

A good observation from @srriaj317: T20 specialists should not get central contracts ahead of Test players because they get ridiculously high IPL/BBL contracts and don't need more money. Rather, the contracts should be used to retain the highest quality longer-form players and to give them the financial base to withstand the attraction of constantly chasing a buck in T20 leagues. This being the case, it makes sense to give Cummins a contract - essentially CA are buying control over his workload and development, so he doesn't just run off to the IPL or focus on BBL cricket, but gives long-form cricket another crack when he's back on the park. Doherty, Hilf and Maxwell don't deserve contracts, and Bird and Khawaja are definitely unlucky. Like @Chiller38, I think an emerging long-form batsman like Doolan, or perhaps Joe Burns, would be better for a contract than a flaky T20 player.

Posted by Mitty2 on (April 3, 2013, 6:40 GMT)

@landl47, summed it up beautifully. It truly is a shambles. There's contradictions in every argus orientated point that I see; contradictions to what inverarity preaches; and just contradictions of the quality of those in the squad, to those out of it: is Maxwell better than o'keefe as a spin bowling all-rounder? Or even David hussey? They say they select squads with an eye on the future (youth), and yet haddin's in the squad despite the superior keeping skills of Paine. It would take me too long to name all the flaws so in going to stop. But I'd just like to say, is there anything that CA can do correctly? Apart from the selection of smith in the Indian tour, I can't remember a decision that deserves credit. The selections of the Perth test are symbolic for the ability of the NSP.

I wonder how the better batsman such as khawaja, burns, doolan, Rogers and even silk figure into this. There's only 5 test batsman in a squad of twenty!!

Posted by Simoc on (April 3, 2013, 6:38 GMT)

Given the games that Harris and Cummins have played for Australia in the past twelve months you don't have to do a whole lot to get a contract. Unless their actions have changed they will most certainly break down again when the going gets tough. The rest of the selections are ok but indicate the shortage of talent available. I expect Smith and Khawaja to work their way into the squad with-in twelve months.

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 6:32 GMT)

australia's full contracted list next season should be: 1.clarke 2.warner 3.silk 4.hughes 5.watson 6.khawaja 7.smith 8.paine 9.lyon 10.burns 11.agar 12.cummins 13.pattinson 14.siddle 15.starc 16.faulkner 17.mckay, 18.sandhu, 19.sayers 20.m.marsh 21.hartley

Posted by Bird_bird_bird on (April 3, 2013, 6:27 GMT)

In ten years time, we will be talking about Jackson bird being a great and khawaja will be forgotten from memory. I say this, because every single facet of bird's bowling along with his astounding record evokes an aura of potential greatness. The sensationalist media have raved about him being the next Glenn mgcrath, and objectively, you can so easily see the comparisons. In my dream world I just cannot wait to see an opening attack comprimising of bird and patto operating at both ends of the MCG. So, CA, how can our best young bowler not be offered a contract? Pathetic.

And of course, khawaja, despite the obvious talent, will simply not be able to rebuild from the many body blows Clarke, Arthur, inverarity, and now CA has given him. Only one setback is given to bird, but for ussie, this has got be the last straw; this setback for ussie is among many, and I seriously doubt he will be able to cope. With a 'bare cupboard', really smart for CA to ruin one of our best prospects.

Posted by MrArmchairCricket on (April 3, 2013, 6:25 GMT)

1) OneEyedAussie: Two test matches in India, one of which he was close to our best spinner, and 11 ODIs is a proven underperformer? That's an interesting assessment. Give the guy a chance.

2) I think people are misreading the CA contracts as a squad.. Example, Cummins, Maxwell and probably Doherty most likely NOT be a factor in the Ashes, nor will Hilfenhaus. All CA Contracts mean, is that their pay comes from CA, not their respective states, and that they're in consideration. My only disappointment is that James Faulkner and Nathan Coulter-Nile weren't among the contracts

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 6:22 GMT)

clint mckay, george bailey, doherty, maxwell, and johnson are short format players only. the biggest suprise is hilfenhaus ahead of bird. hilfy cant pick wickets in odi, t20 or test matches.

Posted by OneEyedAussie on (April 3, 2013, 5:43 GMT)

I have big question marks over the preferential treatment given to Maxwell, Cowan and Doherty -a trio of proven long-term underperformers. Faulkner has played so few games at international level, surely he should be earning his contract like Smith et al. Has Cummins proved he can string more than one game together? On the positive side I applaud the inclusion of Harris and hope to see him playing in England and Australia next summer.

Posted by mohamed.nafis on (April 3, 2013, 5:41 GMT)

Shaun Marsh Deserved a Chance Instead of Phil Hughes

Posted by Meety on (April 3, 2013, 5:35 GMT)

@Chris Gibson - if you read the article, you would see that Bailey has had a pretty ordinary Shield season. I thought he COULD of been an option a year ago, but given he hasn't converted good 50 over form into Shield form I would struggle to find a spot for him on the Ashes, but would take him on the preceeding A-tour. @Sunil_Batra on (April 3, 2013, 3:39 GMT) - good point re: Cummins. Hopefully he is kept well away from the 20/20 Leagues. @ timohyj on (April 3, 2013, 4:11 GMT) - I think you will find regarding Faulkner that 1) He is NOT a 20/20 specialist having just played 4 or 5 ODI games for Oz, & 2) His Shield Final performance on the back of consistantly good Shield for form several seasons means he is a genuine Test hopeful. @Mitty2 - Doherty's inclusion is the most dissappointing in the List (IMO). He is a reasonable 20/20 spinner, barely a par at ODI level & a regular failure at Test level. Recently, I wrote that SO'K should be in the Champ Trophy starting XI.

Posted by Meety on (April 3, 2013, 5:23 GMT)

@goldeneraaus on (April 3, 2013, 3:02 GMT) - putting the MOU to one side, I had wanted to see the contracts broken up into specific parts. IF 20 players has to be the number, then I would like to see 15 contracts to players who are in & around the Test team. I would then have a 3 Short Form specialist contracts (2 ODIs & a 20/20), with 2 positions available for outstanding rookies who the NSP think could go onto bigger things (eg Agar & Cummins). This would clearly identify that Tests is the priority & it would mean that some players not required for Test selection in December - could be stood down from the BBL & required to play in the Futures League which would have the added affect of exposing younger players to International standard talent. I agree with you re: McKay (although there is an arguement he'd make a good Test bowler), he can have a specialist Short Form slot, & had the NSP felt Bailey was not a Test player he could get a 20/20 contract soley for being the captain!

Posted by Mitty2 on (April 3, 2013, 5:22 GMT)

@timhoj and @tomjas... I hope you guys have seem faulkner's FC stats... A bowling average of 23 and a batting average of 29, how exactly does that make him a twenty twenty specialist..?

@milhouse79 I know he hasn't performed in tests, but his FC record is the best for any young batsman in Australia, and is better than root's and equal if not better than Compton's. 21 FC hundreds at the age of 24, he needs to be persisted with.

@Paul_ramplwy, I know that usman will get his chance in the ashes, but his confidence must be dreadfully low, and if he were to be offered a central contract, that could only be a boost for him right?

Posted by Mitty2 on (April 3, 2013, 5:12 GMT)

@chris Gibson, agree with the sentiment on Bailey, as he is the most obvious with captaincy potential with very good leadership skills, but his FC stats simply aren't good enough.

@Sunil, there will be annoyance because we don't really care about ODI's unless it's the world cup. And we definitely don't like 20/20. Agree with you, the Cummings contract allows CA to dictate his bowling and when/where he plays and who bowls to, and I'm all for that. Let's fast track him to the ashes. Watched hilfenhaus in the shield, and his action is simply no where near as good as it was in the 2011/12 Indian series. In that series he was bowling at genuine pace (hit 140+ regularly) and he was getting more outswing than usual because of his high arm action, now... He's bowling 130 and slinging it. He's not in the top 10 quicks in the country.

All though I agree on the mckay contract as he's one of the best odi bowlers in the world statistically; there's simply so many who are better than xav and max.

Posted by I-Like-Cricket on (April 3, 2013, 5:06 GMT)

Come on guys it's obvious why Steve Smith didn't get a contract. He plays appaulingly when given one. Keep him off a CA contract and we'll see the best of him .... duh

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 5:02 GMT)

I suspect Test cricket will go within 20 years. Probably no one will care.

Posted by srriaj317 on (April 3, 2013, 4:57 GMT)

Have to start wondering if there's nepotism entering the ranks now. First of all, T20 players don't deserve contracts ahead of Test players even if they are representing the country. They earn enough from the T20 leagues and some of them (i.e. Maxwell) shouldn't be near the Test side. And if Wade (who is seriously struggling to catch the ball) and Maxwell are still getting goes in the Test side, I can only think that there is a non-cricketing factor lurking behind the scenes with the selectors.

Posted by anuajm on (April 3, 2013, 4:55 GMT)

Jackson Bird has the capability to become one of the best bowlers in the world. He along with Harris, Pattinson and Starc would be dangerous in English conditions. Sooner or later he'll find a place in this list. Good to see Brad Haddin in the list, he still has a lot to contribute. Wade seems to be still work in progress. Hussey has been unlucky to miss out with "age" again going against him as it did with Brad Hodge.

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (April 3, 2013, 4:55 GMT)

@Mitty agree with you 100% that Hughes and Khawaja our our 2 best batsman and I would have expected Khawaja to get the contract but keep in mind that Inevarity said alot of positive comments about him last week so expect him to fire in the ashes. Folks need to remember this is just the initial contract list, others will get their chance and they wont be going to England without the likes of Bird, and Khawaja, because they will want them to learn the conditions.

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 4:50 GMT)

The selectors' apparent agenda against Khawaja is to the detriment of Australian cricket.

Posted by tomjas on (April 3, 2013, 4:47 GMT)

Has Inverarity actually seen Faulkner play?

The guy is, at best, the 4th ranked seamer in Tasmania and Australia's version of Jade Dernbach (straight up and down medium fast with junk slower balls for variation)

If he is the furture then Oz is truly screwed

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 4:47 GMT)

Whoa! Maxwell and Wade "earn" contracts without having much to show for, but someone like Steve Smith misses out on one despite having performed admirably in India. Even Jackson Bird who seemed to have done well in the limited chances he got misses out. As for Khawaja, he gets to play a match or two and is dropped for atleast the next five! So how do you expect him to come up the ranks without giving him proper opportunities? CA is turning into a circus.

Posted by SajMc on (April 3, 2013, 4:44 GMT)

After looking at the list of contracted players for Australia. I think there is no hope of any revival in performance for the Australian team. If this are the best available players for Australia, the near future is very bad, they need to come up with a good program to find talented players or develop some.

Posted by Jaffa79 on (April 3, 2013, 4:43 GMT)

@Mitty2...Hughes is one if your best two batsmen? Really? Hughes is dreadful! I bet there are better bats knocking around in grade cricket better than him. There must be some serious personality clashes in the Aussie set up; has Khawaja really upset someone? Maxwell? Some bizarre choices...

Posted by Clyde on (April 3, 2013, 4:38 GMT)

The only definition of an outstanding cricketer is outstanding in the full game, State and Tests. The disarray of Australian cricket is exhibited well in this story. Thank you.

Posted by valvolux on (April 3, 2013, 4:36 GMT)

Oh dear. Whilst I think Bailey and McKay have been decent in ODIs - I just don't think ODI/T20 specialists should be awarded central contracts. Nor should guys who cant bowl, bat or field no matter what the format, like Doherty and Maxwell. It's ridiculous that Hilfy kept his spot and not Bird, when clearly (or not so clearly as is evident) he has fallen to the bottom of the list and Bird realistically should be second in line after Pattinson. At least they have Rhino in there, he is definitely the next best bowler after those two. Khawaja should've got some practice in before the ashes in india…but invererity the genius denied him. When does his contract come up for review? I think all supporters and past players would agree its time for him to go.

Posted by bobagorof on (April 3, 2013, 4:31 GMT)

What has Johnson done to warrant another contract? I thought that we might finally be rid of him from the list after his previous TWO YEAR contract expired, but I guess playing 2 matches in the last 6 months was enough to keep him in. It's a good thing he's had success against England (9 matches, 35 wickets at 34.42, econ 4.02. 4.02 for crying out loud!) because that's who he'll be facing. Maxwell, too, gets rewarded despite being a no-show in most of his appearances so far. "Tighten his game" is an understatement.

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (April 3, 2013, 4:29 GMT)

I am confused. Are we not about to embark on back to back Ashes series ?Jackson Bird, Moises Henriques, Usman Khawaja and Steve Smith should all be on the plane to England and one wonders why they were superceded, for contracts by Doherty, Maxwell and Cowan.They didn't run that one past the "common sense department" as surely someone like a Khawaja should have been on that list. And is why is david hussey omitted from the contract list... he is so much better than maxwell. i cant get my head around some of these selections.

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 4:27 GMT)

Where are the batsmen? I see only bowlers, fielders and one or two batsmen in the list. Bring back Paine, Forrest, Ferguson.

Posted by Mitty2 on (April 3, 2013, 4:18 GMT)

Considering that bird is our best young quick by quite a margin (FC average), and that khawaja is most definitely in the best two young batsman, (him and Hughes), disappointed that CA didn't give them a central contract as they (khawaja especially), need to be shown faith. But this is most probably down to them being test or FC specialists. Very good to see Faulkner have a contract and henriques to miss out, as quite clearly, Faulkner is the best all rounder in the country, with o'keefe a close second. Maxwell doesn't even cut in ODI's and it's going to take a few inevitable poor performances from him to be gone from the international set up (hopefully). Want to see hilfy and johnson never play a test again and considering that we say that we prioritize test cricket.. Why not use ODI's as a stepping stone? Get o'keefe in doherty's place!

Above all, wade needs to go. Haddin can still cut it, with an average of 50+ this SS season, and a relatively good ashes record; wade out, haddin in.

Posted by Sir_Francis on (April 3, 2013, 4:15 GMT)

Xavier Doherty, Glen Maxwell get contracts but Jackson Bird doesn't. Officially 20/20 is considered of equal value (if not superior) to tests.

I suspect Test cricket will go within 20 years. Probably no one will care.

Posted by Chiller38 on (April 3, 2013, 4:13 GMT)

So India just didn't happen then? If you strive for mediocrity, that is exactly what you will get. Absolutely staggering that Doherty and Maxwell received contracts to the exclusion of Bird and perhaps Doohan if you are looking for up and coming batsman. Seriously, what is going on over at CA Headquarters?

Posted by matthewthorpe on (April 3, 2013, 4:13 GMT)

why are there so few batsmen??

Posted by timohyj on (April 3, 2013, 4:11 GMT)

giving contracts to faulkner and maxwell who are T20 specialists and not to khawaja clearly shows CA's priorities. Surprised Smith didn't get on the list. He was the best batsman after Clarke in India

Posted by SamRoy on (April 3, 2013, 4:05 GMT)

Why is Pat Cummins given a central contract and Jackson Bird not given one? Chances of Bird playing international cricket is much more than Cummins who is perennially injured. Even Harris is 34 and injury prone and walks into a contract. Why does Maxwell get a contract? For being an energetic fielder with an overconfident attitude. I think it will be a general consensus that Bird and Khawaja should have got central contracts instead of Cummins and Maxwell.

Posted by tpjpower on (April 3, 2013, 4:05 GMT)

No way Cummins and Maxwell should be contracted. One can't say fit and the other can't perform at international level. Bird should be a Test regular for this Australian side - especially with the Ashes approaching. I'm no fan of Smith, but his performance in India was streets ahead of Maxwell's (or Hughes', or Watson's, or Warner's). And the selectors' apparent agenda against Khawaja is to the detriment of Australian cricket.

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 3:44 GMT)

How does Patrick Cummins get a contract?

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 3:30 GMT)

Dismay! There are more than a few players in the twenty that are taking up space. I have fully expected for Bailey to be chosen as VC on the Ashes Tour and hope that he becomes captain soon. Too many silly declarations by the current captain in my view. How does Cummings deserve a contract and Bird does not? Maxwell being 'aware' that he's playing poorly still gets rewarded ahead of Butterworth or Cutting? I'd also be giving Wade a year off his contract to allow him to attend catching the ball school. It will help him take edges and make stumpings. And Johnson? He must have compromising photos of a board member... ugh! I could go on for quite some time, but will finish with Ed Cowan. He's taking up the space of a batter.

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 3:27 GMT)

lol.... Batsmen at least 5 in the team......... chance of playing 5/7 ( Bailey/ Clarke t20,odi/test), Keeper 1/2, Fast bowler 4/8, Spin 1/2 looks like less competition for batsmen to keep their place in the side. Nice going dropping Smith and Khawaja, Clarke is just making sure of winning the next 10 Allan Boarder medals

Posted by Mary_786 on (April 3, 2013, 3:22 GMT)

So we have learned nothing form the India tour? They are saying that what happened in India was nothing.This list of players has huge holes in it. Players that have shown their inability to handle pressure of International cricket. Khawaja doesn't need to worry as he hasn't played the longer format game since November and so hasn't been able to show his class yet and as Inevarity pointed out last week should be a big part of the ashes batting lineup as he is one of our best talents. . I feel sorry for Bird, he didnt' do much wrong and missed out, we are spoiled for fast bowlers. I am not sure I would have gone for Faulkner over Henriques but both are good allrounders and both will do well for us.

Posted by goldeneraaus on (April 3, 2013, 3:02 GMT)

If Australian cricket really does value test cricket the highest, as the post-Argust CA keep spewing on about, how can you justify giving contracts to limited over specialists over test specialists, Mckay is understandable as his record has been outstanding, but Maxwell has done absolutely nothing in ODI's and lets not talk about him as a test player. Faulker I like because he will become a mainstay and has already had stand out performances in his limited opportunity. Also I am sick of reading that Cowan is a hardworker and is rewarded as such.. he cannot score fifties let alone hundreds, because he has limited scoring range and only a slightly better than average technique.. results are what is important and he hasn't delivered. Watson falls under that category too in tests but no one can deny he is in anyones first 11 of ODI's and t20s as an allrounder.

Posted by PFEL on (April 3, 2013, 2:40 GMT)

And Cummins gets a contract . . . for playing a couple of games a year. Probably adds up to about $5,000 an hour?

Posted by xylo on (April 3, 2013, 2:32 GMT)

Isn't Watson speciality, in recent days, being injured across all formats of the game?

Posted by Albert_cambell on (April 3, 2013, 2:32 GMT)

Why did Australian selectors omitted Steve smith and henriques and gave the contract to an overrated guy like Maxwell. This is going to be a disaster for AUS. They seriously lack some real batting talent.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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