SYDNEY, Australia: Five newcomers, including three fast bowlers, have been awarded national contracts as Cricket Australia reshapes its contract list for the 2018-2019 season following the recent ball-tampering scandal.
Captain Steve Smith and batsmen Dave Warner and Cameron Bancroft have been omitted while serving suspensions arising from the ball-tampering incident in the third test against South Africa.
In their place, fast bowlers Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson and Andrew Tye, allrounder Marcus Stoinis and wicketkeeper Alex Carey have been included for the first time.
While financial details have not been released, wicketkeeper Tim Paine is expected to receive a substantial pay raise after taking over from Smith to become Australia’s 46th test captain.
All five newcomers have played limited overs cricket for Australia in the past six months and the list reflects Australia’s focus on the 2019 ICC World Cup. Paine, Stoinis, Tye and batsman Shaun Marsh, who returns to the list, were upgraded to national contracts during the course of last season after featuring in test or limited overs matches. They did not begin the season with contracts.
Spinner Adam Zampa, fast bowlers Jackson Bird and James Pattinson, allrounder Hilton Cartwright and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade have been omitted.
Only two specialist spinners, Ashton Agar and Nathan Lyon, have been included.
Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said the squad was well-balanced to represent Australia.
“This period is set to include a significant amount of limited overs cricket, including the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales,” Hohns said in a statement. “For that reason there has been a bit of a focus in this contracting period on white ball cricket as we look ahead to trying to win back-to-back World Cups.
Cricket Australia 2018-2019 contract list: Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine, Matt Renshaw, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye.