Cricket Australia (CA) have released the centrally contracted Players’ list for the 2021/22 season and have omitted the quartet of Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Marcus Stoinis and Mitchell Marsh. Joe Burns has also missed out, but Cameron Green has seen himself receive a maiden contract.
Cricket Australia (CA) have dropped a bombshell as the board have confirmed that former vice-captain Travis Head will not be a centrally contracted player for the 2021/22 season, which is also Ashes year. Head, who was not so long ago touted to be the next Australian Test captain, was axed from the Test side after the first two Tests against India, but despite finishing as the second highest run-getter in the Sheffield Shield season - 893 runs @ 68.69 - the 27-year-old has seen himself miss out on a national contract for the forthcoming season.
Head is joined by the duo of Matthew Wade and Joe Burns, who have also been omitted from the list. Wade, 33, was dropped by the selectors for Australia’s cancelled Test tour of South Africa, and has seen himself miss out on a contract despite having dethroned Alex Carey to become the #1 gloveman in the T20I side. Burns, meanwhile, was axed mid-way during the India series and also endured a mixed Shield season afterwards, where he registered a bunch of low scores in the midst of playing a few big knocks in Queensland’s title-winning campaign.
There is also no place in the list for Western Australian all-rounders Mitchell Marsh and Marcus Stoinis, both of whom played in the five-match T20Is versus New Zealand and are in contention to make the WT20 squad. While Stoinis is still pushing his case for selection by representing the Delhi Capitals in the IPL, Marsh, however, last month chose to withdraw from the T20 extravaganza owing to bubble fatigue.
There is good news for two other Western Australians, however, as both Cameron Green and Jhye Richardson have been rewarded with a central contract. Green, who made his international debut in the India series, impressed in both the Shield and the Marsh Cup and hence has been rewarded for his consistency, while Richardson, who is currently playing in the IPL, returned to the national set-up two months ago after recovering from a shoulder injury that dashed his 2019 World Cup hopes. Will Pucovski, who made his Test debut against India in Sydney, however, has missed out on a contract owing to concerns surrounding his fitness.
CA have however confirmed that, "Those who miss out on the initial contract list can be upgraded during the year by earning selection in national teams. Players need to accrue 12 upgrade points to earn a contract, with Tests worth five points, ODIs two points and T20s one point."
Cricket Australia men's contract list 2021-22: Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, James Pattinson, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner, Adam Zampa.