England news October 22, 2013

Root replaces Morgan in contracts list


The day before England fly out to Australia for the Ashes tour, the ECB have confirmed the recipients of central contracts for the next 12 months after protracted talks which began during the summer. There is one change among the 11 from the previous batch with Eoin Morgan losing his deal and Joe Root, who plays all three formats for England, included in his place.

The make-up of the current deals will run until 2019 - although individual contracts still last 12 months - and they are understood to be considerably enhanced terms which the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) were pushing hard for throughout the process. They had claimed in February that England players were "substantially underpaid" compared to their counterparts in Australia.

The initial timescale had been to announce the new contracts when the Ashes squad was named last month, but the final negotiations took extra time although there was no suggestion of talks breaking down at any stage. As part of the raft of alterations made to enable players to increase their chances of maximising their earning opportunities, England's home Tests will be pushed back to June from May to allow a longer period for lucrative IPL appearances.

Angus Porter, the PCA chief executive, said: "I am pleased that we have secured a fair and appropriate long term agreement, and have done so via amicable and constructive dialogue."

Morgan's absence is of no surprise. Although he remains integral to both limited-overs formats - and captained England against Australia last month in Alastair Cook's absence - he has drifted well down the pecking order for a Test berth after opting for a full stint at the IPL and has not made a first-class 50 in more than a year.

His potential route back onto the Test side would be at No. 6, a position that no-one has cemented since Paul Collingwood's retirement after the 2010-11 Ashes. That the contracts list only includes five batsman confirms that the final berth in the middle-order remains up for grabs. There are three potential candidates in the Ashes squad with Gary Ballance, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes vying for a place in the Brisbane Test.

Root's elevation to a full central contract is a natural progression after a year in which he has rapidly become a fixture in all three formats. This time 12 months ago he had not made his debut for England, but since his first appearance against India in Nagpur - where he scored a vital, composed 73 - he has produced key contributions in 20-over, 50-over and Test cricket even though his elevation to opener in the summer's Ashes proved a challenge for him.

England have resisted contracting extra fast-bowling resources, such as Boyd Rankin or Chris Tremlett, but despite his inconsistent year Steven Finn remains on the list.

Geoff Miller, the national selector who was presiding over his final selection of contracts before stepping down, said: "Contracts are on-going recognition for those players who have regularly been selected for England and have performed consistently, as well as those players we feel are likely to play an important role for England over the next year.

"Congratulations to Joe Root who is the one addition to the list of players awarded a central contract and this reflects the important role Joe has played for England since making his international debut last year and will I'm sure continue to play across all formats."

The outgoing managing director England Cricket, Hugh Morris, said: "We are delighted to have concluded a six-year deal and to have all contractual issues resolved in advance of what we all hope to be another successful Ashes tour. We thank the PCA, Team England Player Partnership and the ECB Board for reaching this agreement which now allows the players to focus solely on cricket, not just during this tour, but for a considerable period beyond."

Central contracts James Anderson, Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Steven Finn, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior, Joe Root, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott

Andrew McGlashan is a senior assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo; George Dobell is senior correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Hasan on October 27, 2013, 2:23 GMT

    I can't understand why morgan was out listed from central contracts.If that is due to UAE tour ,all batsmen should be out listed except cookie!I remembered he hit a century against India before that tour. This is a heart breaking news for him.it will affect to his mentality in ODI's and T2o's also. England is bilking Irish players. I am not an England supporter.But I praise Morgan because he is one of few gentlemen in England team

  • Simon on October 24, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    No suprise. Morgan just isn't very good at multi-day cricket.

  • Dummy4 on October 23, 2013, 19:38 GMT

    Tremlett's in over Onions simply because he's tall. 70-odd wickets clearly means nothing compared to an extra few inches.

  • Jon on October 23, 2013, 17:10 GMT

    @nurdleoffpads, have you seen Tremlett bowl this year though. I was a big fan of his and feel sorry for the fact his injuries have prevented him from reaching his potential but those hazy days are over for him. He has lost about 5 mph and therefore the zip has gone. I watched a fair bit of him at Surrey and he failed to impress once all year. I can't fathom why he is in this squad. His last good performance was 3 years ago.

  • Jez on October 23, 2013, 15:40 GMT

    @jb633 Not sure what there is to criticise about Tremlett's selection, who has performed better in tests Tremlett or Onions? Morgan has never proved himself in tests either.

  • Harmon on October 23, 2013, 14:19 GMT

    I am not aware of Morgan's exact record in the last 1 year but I don't think he did too badly. A contract is a major boost to the confidence of a player and I think Morgan is an essential player in 2 of the 3 formats for Eng and so deserved some faith by the board even if his performance had dipped a bit. Guys like Morgan & Butler make the Eng LOC team quite innovative & reliable. I think Morgan should feel a bit sore after not being given a contract.

    On the other hand Root should be very happy at getting a contract and I am happy for him. He is more mature than his age and has a very nice technique. If he is looked after well then he should go a long way. Making projections is tempting and Root has the looks of a top class player.

    Healthy roots usually grow downwards & reach lows but if this Root remains healthy then he should grow upwards & reach many highs. :-p

  • John on October 23, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    @IndiaNumeroUno on (October 23, 2013, 6:42 GMT) Out of these 11 players the only player IPL will definitely be interested in is KP. With his recent fitness record I could see England objecting to him playing in IPL despite it not coininciding with England tests. Finn may receive interest and maybe Jimmy but probably not. Swann is a player IPL franchises should be interested in but he went unsold last time and I can see Eng not allowing him to participate anyway. The players (SF specialists) I'm most interested in are the Notts duo Hales and Lumb (and whether Notts will allow them to do IPL next year as they objected this year) and Buttler. Buttler has said that he was desperate to play test cricket as a WK for England. IPL would improve his SF game and if on form he would light up the crowds but it will not help him get in the test side. Also would any IPL franchise have room for him as a WK?

  • Dummy4 on October 23, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    Send him back to Ireland...

  • John on October 23, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    @landl47 on (October 22, 2013, 21:24 GMT) ctd This is why I said I'd not have been surprised had they given Morgan a CC - to keep him on side etc. I wonder how Morgan will react? He can't really look at himself in the mirror (like Nick/Onions) and say I put the maximum in to try and regain my test spot and I don't feel he should have any grievances. If he went back to Middx and scored regularly averaging 45+ then maybe he'd have more of a reason to be upset. I suppose if they gave Morgan a CC would they then feel they'd have to follow suit with Jos who is in a similar position - being a shoe in in ODIs/T20s but nowhere near the test side

  • John on October 23, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    @landl47 on (October 22, 2013, 21:24 GMT) Morgan has only captained when Cook/Broad have been absent. But re the T20s to me it seems silly to give the captaincy to a guy who they'll rest alot. Personally I think the captain should be (barring injuries) playing every game and as I have said before I wouldn't mind seeing none of the test players playing ODI/T20s as opposed to chopping and changing so much. And it's totally against what they do with the test side.