Paceman Mitchell Johnson was a big winner in one of a streamlined 17 players Friday awarded a Cricket Australia contract, but Test opener Ed Cowan missed out.
CA sliced its centrally contracted players list from 25 to 17 under a new agreement with the players' union, but with the talent to upgrade others if their performance warranted. Johnson, 30, has not played for Australia in any form of the game since November last year due to a foot injury, while Cowan, national T20 skipper George Bailey, Clint Mackay and Christian were the big losers.
ODI specialist David Hussey kept his contract, despite having yet to play a Test match Australia’s selectors said the contracts were awarded on the form over the past 1 year. Their likelihood of being selected for Australia in any form of the game during the next 12 months and the weighting for Tests over ODIs and in turn T20.
Chief selector John Inverarity said his panel had faith that Cowan and Bailey could still be awarded a contract with better performances. Naming just 17 players at first, with the ability to upgrade others, as and when performance warrants, ensure a tighter position between present performance, recognition and reward, Inverarity said in an announcement.
There are a number of very good regarded players who the panel has great faith in -- and hopes for who didn't, on this occasion, make the cut for the contract list of 17. Cowan; George Bailey, Forrest, Clint McKay, Christian and some others come readily to mind.
The expectation is that a handful of names will be added to the list as the season unfolds and upgrade points are accrued by those players in lieu of Australia in the various formats of the game.
Under a new pay agreement signed with the Australian Cricketers Association, the minimum CA retainer contract is worth Aus230, 000 with performance payments, counting $Aus14, 000 for a Test match $Aus5, 600 for an ODI and $Aus4, 200 for a T20.
Australians 2012-13 contracted list - Michael Clarke, Patrick Cummins, Xavier Doherty, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Ricky Ponting, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, Shane Watson, and David Warner.