Cricket Australia have released their national contract list for 2018-19 with some notable inclusions of limited overs specialists to aim for back-to-back World Cup titles.
For the first time in several years, suspended players Steve Smith and David Warner did not feature on the 20-man list, nor did Cameron Bancroft.
Tim Paine is likely to receive a significant financial gain after becoming Australia’s 46th Test captain but is unlikely to be the keeper in all three formats of the game with the inclusion of Alex Carey.
Other fresh faces to the list are limited overs specialist bowlers Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Andrew Tye and all-rounder Marcus Stoinis who have all represented Australia in the last six months.
The biggest omission to the list is leg spinner Adam Zampa who has recently fallen out of favour for Australia behind Ashton Agar and Nathan Lyon.
Seam bowlers Jackson Bird and Chadd Sayers have also missed out on contracts for 2018-19 after spending the last season being fringe players but struggling to break into the side.
Nathan Coulter-Nile and James Pattinson have had long lay-offs due to injury and did not receive contracts for next season but Pattinson hopes to be back in time for the 2019 Ashes.
Matthew Renshaw is the likely new opening batsmen for the Australian Test side but who the other opener will be is unknown.
National selector Trevor Honhs believes the squad is well balanced across all formats of cricket and believes all the new inclusions will add something to their respective teams.
“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 told cricket.com.au.
“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.”
“Andrew (Tye) is an experienced bowler, who has been able to translate strong domestic performances onto the international stage in white-ball cricket,” Hohns said.
“Alex (Carey) is the second wicket-keeper in this squad, alongside Tim Paine. He is a promising young player who has had a strong domestic summer and performed well in his international opportunities to date with bat and gloves.
“Kane (Richardson) has been rewarded for strong performances in the Sheffield Shield and his efforts when selected for Australia in limited-overs cricket, where he continues to impress.
“Jhye (Richardson) is a young fast bowler who has been on the fringes of selection in all three forms of the game. He’s an exciting prospect who has played ODI and T20 cricket for Australia this summer, and was in the Test squad for the recent tour of South Africa.
“Marcus (Stoinis) is a player who has featured regularly for Australia in limited-overs cricket over the last 12 months, and is a player of promise who has impressed with his all-round capabilities on the international stage.”
Players who missed out on a national contract can be upgraded through a points system if their form permits it.
12 upgrade points are required and players receive five points for playing in a Test match, two for an ODI and one for a T20I.
2018-19 CA men’s contracts: 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, Matthew Renshaw, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye.
OUT: Jackson Bird, Hilton Cartwright, James Pattinson, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
IN: Alex Carey, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye