All of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were expectedly absent in Cricket Australia’s 20-strong list of nationally contracted players, announced on Wednesday, April 11.
The trio are currently serving bans for their roles in the ball-tampering incident during the Cape Town Test last month, and their exclusions allowed room for a new-look list of 20 players who will represent Australia’s men’s team across formats in the coming year.
Kane Richardson, Andrew Tye and Jhye Richardson, the fast bowlers, all-rounder Marcus Stoinis, and Alex Carey, the wicket-keeper, are the fresh faces in the list.
Tim Paine, who missed out on the initial list last year but impressed enough to be upgraded to a national contract later, returned to the 20-strong list, and is expected to be offered improved terms, given his status as Australia’s 46th Test captain.
However, he is not expected to don the gloves across formats, given the inclusion of the 26-year-old Carey. “This is an exciting opportunity for these players, who all deserve to be on this list,” said Trevor Hohns, the national selector, of the newcomers. “Andrew (Tye) is an experienced bowler, who has been able to translate strong domestic performances onto the international stage in white-ball cricket.
“Alex (Carey) is the second wicket-keeper in this squad, alongside Tim Paine. He is a promising young player who has had a strong domestic summer and performed well in his international opportunities to date with bat and gloves.
“Jhye (Richardson) is a young fast bowler who has been on the fringe of selection in all three forms of the game. He’s an exciting prospect who has played ODI and T20 cricket for Australia this summer, and was in the Test squad for the recent tour of South Africa.
“Marcus (Stoinis) is a player who has featured regularly for Australia in limited-overs cricket over the last 12 months, and is a player of promise who has impressed with his all-round capabilities on the international stage.”
There were some prominent names who missed out, though. Jackson Bird played the Boxing Day Ashes Test in Melbourne in December, but didn’t make the cut, and the same went for Chadd Sayers, who made his Test debut in Johannesburg, replacing the injured Mitchell Starc.
The injured duo of James Pattinson and Nathan Coulter-Nile missed out as well, along with the likes of D’Arcy Short, Chris Lynn and Adam Zampa.
With the international break on, a lot of these players are in the subcontinent, contesting the Indian Premier League. Australia will next tour England in June for a limited-overs series, comprising five ODIs and a one-off T20I.
Australia will then travel to Zimbabwe in July for a triangular T20I series against the home side and Pakistan.
Contracted players for 2018-19: Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine, Matthew Renshaw, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye.