Khawaja, Voges, Nevill earn CA annual contracts

Melbourne, April 1 (IANS) Batsmen Usman Khawaja, Adam Voges and Joe Burns are among the new names on the initial list of Cricket Australia’s (CA) contracted male players for 2016-17, it was announced on Friday.

CA revealed the list of 20 contracted players, those chosen based on their performances since July last year. Nathan Coulter-Nile, John Hastings, Peter Nevill and Peter Siddle have also earned contracts having missed out on the initial round last year.

While all seven new faces were not named on the initial list of 19 contracted players 12 months ago, they earned upgrades throughout the course of the season.

Players not selected in the initial group of those contracted can be upgraded should they earn 12 upgrade points throughout the year. Players receive five points for each Test match they play, two for an One-Day International (ODI) and one for a T20 International (T20I).

There were a host of spots available this year following the retirements of Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson, Chris Rogers and Shane Watson over the past 12 months.

“The Australian team is set to embark on another busy year of international cricket and we believe the players chosen in this group are those that are right in contention to represent the country over the next 12 months,” national selector Rod Marsh said in a release.

“There is a lot of talent within this group and we have confidence that the players chosen can be successful in all three forms of the game, against a range of opposition, in a variety of conditions.

“Following a number of high-profile retirements, we believe this group of players gives us a healthy blend of youth and experience to represent Australia at the highest level, allowing us the best chance of maintaining our number-one rankings in Test and ODI cricket, as well as improving our performances in the T20 format.”

There is one more centrally contracted player compared to last year, with selectors able to select between 17 and 20 initial players each year.

The minimum value of a CA contract for the 2016-17 season is $270,000 while any player awarded an ‘upgrade’ contract will earn a minimum of $230,000.

Cricket Australia Contracted Players 2016-17: George Bailey, Joe Burns, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Patrick Cummins, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Peter Nevill, James Pattinson, Adam Voges, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner.

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