Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja were among the six players dropped from Cricket Australia’s list of nationally contracted players. World number three batsman Marnus Labuschagne heads the new names on Cricket Australia’s (CA) 2020-21 contracted player list ahead of an uncertain but crucial southern summer.
The announcement of 20 men and 15 women comes after the organisation recently said the coronavirus pandemic had cost it 20 million dollars with more severe impacts expected if the forthcoming T20 World Cup and India’s tour of the country are cancelled. Limited overs specialist Ashton Agar, Test opening batsman Joe Burns and all-rounder Mitchell Marsh joined white-ball bowler Kane Richardson, former Warwickshire wicket-keeper Matthew Wade and Labuschagne in being called up to the national list, CA said in its statement. “With many of the squad crossing into all three formats it gives us the benefit of being able to add in specialists depending on the opposition and the conditions,” chief selector Trevor Hohns said in a statement. “The depth of this squad and the success of the past 12 months gives us that solid base.” Others dropped from the list — which forms the core of Australia’s international squads — were Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Marcus Harris. “As is always the case there are unlucky omissions but, however, because you are not on the list does not mean you cannot be selected to represent Australia,” Hohns said.
Uncertainty hangs over the cricket calendar and the Twenty20 World Cup because of the coronavirus pandemic. Australia’s tour to England for three one-dayers and three Twenty20 matches in July is in jeopardy after the England and Wales Cricket Board delayed the start of their season until at least July 1.
Australia contracted players: Ashton Agar, Joe Burns, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, James Pattinson, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.