The dropped players now at minimum $200,000 lighter in the pocket include Stu Clark, Nathan Bracken, Graham Manou, Brad Hodge and David Hussey while Ryan Harris, Tim Paine, Steve Smith, Clint Mackay and Adam Voges have now officially joined the elite of Australian cricket.
With only 25 spots available there was always going to be a few deserving players missing the cut especially when Cricket Australia made no provision for contracting T20 specialists like the dynamic Dave Warner and his Delhi team-mate Dirk Nannes.
Of the discarded David Hussey has been dealt with the most harshly. His form in domestic cricket was outstanding, he is an important member of the T20 squad, can easily fill a place and do a job in ODIs and if given the opportunity, the odd Test match too.
It was pleasing to see that Callum Ferguson and Ben Hilfenhaus haven’t been forgotten but the semi-retired Brett Lee’s inclusion is almost beyond belief.
Lee, who has played only a handful of ODIs in the last year is perrenially injured and no longer resembles the tearaway quick that has taken over 300 Test wickets. He cannot make the First XI of the worst performed side in the IPL and his recent showings have been abysmal and embarrassing (10-0-111-0).
With Australia’s fast bowling stocks in fine fettle his inclusion in Australia’s T20 squad for the tournament in the West Indies has dampened my optimism about Australia’s chances significantly.
An argument could be made that his wayward spells and regular no-balls were the crucial element in Australia failing to get beyond the first round at the last tournament and a much better choice for a contract would have been Queensland’s young tyro Ben Cutting who topped the Shield wicket aggregate by a fair distance last season.
Of the states Victoria should feel hard done by too. They were Shield and T20 champions and runners-up to Tasmania in the 50 over competition in 2009/10 and even though they’ve dominated domestic cricket these last five years there was still only four Bushrangers deemed worthy of a contract.
The 25 STATE BY STATE
Nathan Hauritz (formerly of QLD)
Simon Katich (formerly of WA)
Shane Watson (formerly of QLD)
Mitchell Johnson (formerly of QLD)
Ryan Harris (formerly of SA)