Melbourne: Test opener Ed Cowan has been overlooked in Cricket Australia's revamped list of 17 centrally contracted players named on Friday. CA has cut its contracted players from 25 to 17, but with the ability to upgrade others if performance warrants.
While Cowan missed out, out-of-favor paceman Mitchell Johnson was awarded a contract, along with one-day specialist David Hussey who has never played a Test. National Twenty20 captain George Bailey was also overlooked.
Australia's selectors said the contracts were awarded on the player's form over the past 12 months and the likelihood of being selected for Australia in any format in the next 12 months, with Test representation outweighing ODIs and ODIs outweighing T20.
Chairman of selectors John Inverarity said the likes of Cowan and Bailey still remain in selectors' minds. "Naming just 17 players initially, with the ability to upgrade others as and when performance warrants, ensures a tighter alignment between current performance, recognition and reward," Inverarity said in a statement. "There are a number of very good and highly regarded players who the NSP have considerable faith in — and hopes for — who didn't on this occasion make the cut for the contract list of 17."
Under a new pay agreement signed with the Australian Cricketers' Association, the minimum CA retainer contract is worth 230,000 Australian dollars ($230,000), with performance payments including AUS$14,000 for a Test match, AUS$5,600 for an ODI and AUS$4,200 for a T20.
Contracted Players: Michael Clarke, Pat Cummins, Xavier Doherty, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Ricky Ponting, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Stark, Matt Wade, Shane Watson, David Warner.