Monday was a day to remember for Steve Smith and David Warner. The morning started with the former captain and vice captain being named in Australia‘s 15-man World Cup squad. Both the players will be making their international comeback during the World Cup after serving the 12-month ban for the ball-tampering scandal. The two have not played international cricket since their ban following a ball-tampering incident in Cape Town in March 2018.
The two were eligible to play in Australia’s last ODI against Pakistan but the selectors instead asked them to play in the Indian Premier League. And the day became even more memorable for Smith and Warner as Cricket Australia included them in their list of contracted players for 2019-20 season. They had missed out on the last central contracts.
Injury-prone pacer James Pattinson, who is in line to play the Ashes that follows immediately after the World Cup, has also found a place in the 20-player shortlist for the new season. The notable absentees from the list are Mitchell Marsh and Matt Renshaw. Marsh failed to deliver last season and his performance only dipped after he was elevated as Australia’s joint Test vice-captain. In fact, he had also lost his spot in the national side across formats due to poor performance. But fortunately for him, the selectors named him in the Australia A squad for the England tour in July.
Players who have been dropped from the list are Ashton Agar, Kane Richardson, Billy Stanlake and Andrew Tye. On the other hand, the likes of Nathan Coulter-Nile, Marcus Harris and Adam Zampa have made it back to the contracted list of players.
“We believe the 2019/20 contract list provides us with a versatile group of players who can represent Australia across all three formats over the contract period,” national selector Trevor Hohns said.
“Our key criteria focused on selecting a pool of players who are going to help us in our ambition to win the upcoming World Cup and Ashes Series in England, and who can also play the various formats over the course of the Australian summer,” he added.
2019-20 Contract List: Patrick Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Alex Carey, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, James Pattinson, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa