Australian Cricket Board (ACB) Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed today announced the twenty-five players to be contracted by the Board for the next twelve months. They are:
- Michael Bevan
- Greg Blewett
- Matthew Elliott
- Damien Fleming
- Adam Gilchrist
- Jason Gillespie
- Ian Harvey
- Matthew Hayden
- Michael Hussey
- Michael Kasprowicz
- Simon Katich
- Justin Langer
- Brett Lee
- Shane Lee
- Darren Lehmann
- Damien Martyn
- Stuart MacGill
- Glenn McGrath
- Colin Miller
- Ricky Ponting
- Michael Slater
- Andrew Symonds
- Shane Warne
- Mark Waugh
- Steve Waugh
Matthew Elliott and Michael Hussey have been added to the list that was announced last year in July. Ian Harvey, Michael Kasprowicz and Brett Lee were added to the contracted player list at different stages during the past 12 months after winning regular Australian selection.
Brendon Julian, Tom Moody, Ian Healy, Adam Dale and Stuart Law will not have their existing contracts renewed as of 1 July 2000.
"Selection as an ACB contracted player is a major milestone for any Australian cricketer. It recognises and rewards the players who, on form and performance, are at the head of the queue for Australian selection.
"Australia is regarded as the premier Test and one-day international team in the world. This is a ringing endorsement of the outstanding performance of the selectors," said Mr Speed.
Mr Speed said that the selection panel of Trevor Hohns (Chairman), Allan Border, Geoff Marsh 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 the teams Australia will play, the balance of the side and the need to ensure the future development of the Test and one-day international teams.
Hussey, the 24 year old left-hand Western Australian opener, earned his contract after scoring 874 first-class runs at an average of 51.41 last year. He has also scored over 900 runs in each domestic season from 1995-96 to 1998-99.
Hussey said he was thrilled with the news.
"I have performed consistently well over the past few seasons and I guess my persistence has paid off. If I keep working hard hopefully I can reach the next level," he said from Perth today.
Elliott, who is currently playing county cricket for Glamorgan, said he was pleased to be offered another ACB contract after a successful 1999-2000 season that brought him 1028 first-class runs at 68.53.
"After not being offered a contract last year, I concentrated my efforts on making runs for Victoria. It's great to be one step closer to Australian selection again," Elliott said.
The contracted players will be the core group from which players would be drawn for both Tests and one-day internationals in the year ahead, including the domestic Ansett Australia Test Series and Carlton & United Series.
The contracted players will be paid a base retainer, match fees and tour fees.
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 is $80,000. This is up $15,000 from last year.
The highest ranked player will receive a base retainer of around $315,000, up $95,000 from last year.
The increase in retainers this year stems from a higher player payments pool, which is determined as a function of projected Australian Cricket Revenue (ACR) for season 2000-2001. ACR is a figure determined by the consolidated revenue streams of the ACB and the state associations.
The highest ranking ACB contracted players have the capacity to earn over $600,000 from their retainer and match payments this year.
Uncontracted players remain eligible for Australian selection and can be upgraded to an ACB contract if they win regular selection.