23 June 2012

New Cricket Australia contracted players list

A Memorandum of Understanding was reached between Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association. The good news is that the game will roll on, however what you may notice is how the original twenty-five player contract list has now been reduced to seventeen.

Having a look at the list, the fundamental concept behind it seems to be the selection of the the players who have played the most cricket for Australia over a period of time, as well as players who have shown relative consistency within their own specialist form of the game.

This list is definitely more focused on Test cricketers as opposed to limited overs cricketers.

It was always going to be a logical move and once again this has been a step towards following the recommendations of the Argus Review which has done nothing but get Australian cricket back on track. I see no reason why this should even be up for debate.

The original contract list always baffled me as to why a player like Callum Ferguson would get his contract but would sit on the sidelines playing State cricket. With little opportunity granted due to his poor Big Bash form - Twenty20 cricket mind you - he was never given a chance to fulfill those opportunities with the fresh contract.

Despite the above, the fact remains there's no point in dishing out reasonably lucrative contracts to players who won't be given the chance due to competition for places. There's also new avenues for players to have access to the money in circulation within the game, for example; Twenty20 competitions, county cricket, overseas limited overs stints.

I did mention that the revised list seems to based on, 'the selection of the the players who have played the most cricket for Australia over a period of time as well as players who have shown relative consistency within their own specialist form of the game.'

You may then see the name of Mitchell Johnson. Immediately you will likely think why he is even on that list? He has been out of action since November, has only just made a return and didn't exactly perform well in Test cricket.  That's where we need to look at his limited overs performances. He was our best bowler in ODIs last season and he's about to make a return. Although I don't see his return to Test cricket as a likely one due to the young guys coming through the system and a consistent crop of bowlers leading us to victory, Mitch is suited to limited overs cricket and is a valuable player.

In Mitchell's case, this is where 'players who have shown relative consistency within their own specialist form of the game' comes into effect. You can't deny that Mitch wasn't a stand out performer for us in limited overs cricket for the 2010/11 season. Limited overs cricket narrows the gap between his best and worse, where as the harsh nature of Test cricket doesn't allow him this.

As John Inverarity, Chairman of selectors, stated, "We have very high expectations that he (Johnson) will come back and come back extremely well. His record is very good. The consideration was that he already had a contract for this period. That was a given."

A few observations. I thought Ed Cowan would find his way onto the list but it has been widely reported that the Test series at the end of this year will be the series that determines his future as an Australian opening batsman. He's had two series where he has been able to hold his own but can't seem to get over next hurdle when he has got himself into a good position during his innings.

The other would be George Bailey who did a really good job in the West Indies during his first ODI series. However, I don't think he has played enough and not cemented himself into a certain form of the game, Twenty20 captaincy aside as well. His omission seems legitimate.

One talking point I reckon will be about Brad Haddin.
Brad has had to walk away from the game due to personal circumstances within his life. As a result Matt Wade was given his chance and has made an exciting impression for the future of Australian cricket. Basically we need not panic!

Tim Paine was dubbed to the man to step in for Brad but his unfortunate injury last year paved the way for Matt to debut in all forms of the game. Given his lack of exposure since making a slow comeback from injury, Tim will need the Australia A fixtures in July to get himself back on the radar, regain his confidence after being out of the game for a while and most importantly take on the role as a senior player for Australia A. Further opportunity to groom his leadership ambitions.

Two wicket keepers seems to be a logical choice. Despite Brad having struggled for the 2010/11 season post the Ashes series, he has the experience and may still make a comeback. It may be a contract granted due to the circumstances of only one keeper being a guaranteed candidate for selection at this point in time.

Your thoughts on the new contract list?

I will update the Player Profile page as soon as I can but in the meantime, without further to do, here is the new list of Cricket Australia's contract players:

Michael Clarke (NSW),
Pat Cummins (NSW),
Xavier Doherty (TAS),
Brad Haddin (NSW),
Ryan Harris (QLD),
Ben Hilfenhaus (TAS),
David Hussey (VIC),
Michael Hussey (WA),
Mitchell Johnson (WA),
Nathan Lyon (SA),
James Pattinson (VIC),
Ricky Ponting (TAS) ,
Peter Siddle (VIC),
Mitchell Starc (NSW),
Matthew Wade (VIC),
Shane Watson (NSW),
David Warner (NSW).

Once again New South Wales dominates the list with Victoria not too far behind. Tasmanian cricket is on the rise as well, along with Ali de Winter, Tasmanian assistant coach, being on a test drive as bowling coach for the National side.

NSW: 6
VIC: 4
TAS: 3
WA: 2
SA: 1
QLD: 1

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livescore said...

That is the reason i like Australian home cricket because they try their best to select talented player and their board of cricket always make great decisions.

Joshua said...

All these guys deserve a contract..i miss Lee here...binga has always been a true champion for us!!!

Arm Chair Experts Forum said...

Nice article mate! A few decisions do seem baffling though.

Ian said...

Yeah, Binga is a champ but it was only fair the way it was all handled in the end.