The English Cricket Board (ECB) have scrapped their previous dual contract model, which awarded separate deals for Tests and white-ball cricket, and the renewed one features 20 annual central contracts for its men’s players. Jack Leach, Dawid Malan and Ollie Robinson were the first time entrants.
The development comes after the criticism over the previous model for its lack of flexibility. Notably, the Test contracts awarded for the 2020/21 season didn’t feature a single spinner, despite England playing six Tests in the sub-continent. Mark Wood, one of team’s premier red-ball quicks, too, was overlooked in Tests, and was offered just the white-ball contract.
With players now required to spend extended periods in bio-secure environments, given the covid-19 protocols, the new system aims to enhance flexibility and help them in managing themselves better in tough bio-secure lifestyles during a busy cricketing calendar.
Moeen Ali, who announced his retirement from Test cricket last month, has been awarded the central contract for the 2021/22 season, alongside 19 others, featuring first time entrants Jack Leach, Dawid Malan and Ollie Robinson.
"I would like to thank TEPP and the players for all their constructive input through the process of developing this new system, which I believe is the fairest and most transparent way of rewarding players across all formats,” Ashley Giles, the Managing Director of Men's England Cricket, said.
"We have worked well to get to this stage and the refinements made will take into account the amount of cricket we will be playing across formats over the next period of the ICC Future Tours Programme.
"Since the inception of central contracts in 2002, the system has facilitated improved preparation, performance and professionalism of the England team and has ensured that players are well rewarded for representing their country at the elite level.
"The international game continues to evolve, and we have to be mindful that we have to lead the way in player performance across cricket's ever-changing landscape. Our objective remains the same to develop world-class players in all three formats as we strive to become the most respected team in the world.
"I would like to congratulate all the players offered agreements for the coming year, particularly newcomers Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, and Ollie Robinson. Receiving your first central contract is a great moment in any player's career. They will all play a pivotal role in England's fortunes over the next 12 months."
England Men's Central Contracts
Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonathan Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan, Ollie Pope, Adil Rashid, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
England Increment Contracts
Dom Bess, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone
England Pace Bowling Development Contracts
Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Olly Stone