Posted by: nestaquin | April 7, 2010

Australian Cricket: Contracts & Confusion

The Australian selectors have finalised their contracted players for the next 12 months making five changes to the previous squad.

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

NSW
Doug Bollinger
Michael Clarke
Brad Haddin
Nathan Hauritz (formerly of QLD)
Phillip Hughes
Simon Katich (formerly of WA)
Brett Lee
Steven Smith
Shane Watson (formerly of QLD)

WA
Mike Hussey
Mitchell Johnson (formerly of QLD)
Shaun Marsh
Marcus North
Adam Voges

VIC
Andrew McDonald
Clint Mackay
Peter Siddle
Cameron White

TAS
Ben Hifenhaus
Tim Paine
Ricky Ponting

SA
Callum Ferguson
Shaun Tait

QLD
James Hopes
Ryan Harris (formerly of SA)

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Responses

  1. David Warner is a more certain starter in 20/20 than Smith or Lee yet they won’t give him any contract. The cheek of it.

    Plus Adam Voges and Clint McKay get one but not Warner.

    Curiouser and curiouser.

    • am also playing cricket..pro cricketer..need a true oppurtunity to play overseas

  2. Now I think of it, Hughes getting a contract is a bit rich as well.

    It shows that CA still reallly sniff at the idea of 20/20 as a serious part of the world of cricket.

  3. You’ve got to give Warner credit for the way he has handled the snub too. He has stated he wants to be a Test player and is moving to Victoria next season to see if he can get a run in the Shield to prove himself.

    Good on him and I’ve gotta add that he isn’t only a punishing bat but one of the best outfielders in the game today.

    • Well moving to Victoria isn’t going to get him any closer to a test cap!
      IMO about the best he can hope for is a couple of good seasons so NSW start to show some interest, then he might get a baggy green.

  4. Re Warner, NSW have plenty of batting talent in their Shield side as is, it has been hard to fit him in, and when given the chance he hasn’t performed that well. He hasn’t really been snubbed. I don’t think he has handled his non-selection that well. He surely can perform really well in the longer game, but it seems a bit petulant of him to threaten to leave NSW without fighting harder for his spot.

    Also, maybe the selectors are right if indeed they are taking T20 less seriously. T20 seems to be a game more focussed on State and franchise teams than national teams. Of course there is the World Cup which is a bit of a pot luck tournament, as the format is itself. And being held every year, it’s hard to place as big a value on winning it as you would on a test series betwene India or the Ashes or the ODI World Cup.

  5. True Peter. Snubbed was not an apt description.

    I agree that the World Cup and the major Test series should take precedent too.

    Victoria have a strong and successful team and it will be interesting to see if Warner can find a permanent spot in their Shield side. At the moment I’d think not but he seems determined and I applaud him for having a go.

    He could always come a bit further south. With Dan Marsh retiring I reckon we could slot him in at six for the Thylacines for an extended period to prove himself.

    • There’s nothing wrong with moving states. Look at Gilly, Kat, Hauritz, Watson and so forth and so on.

      What annoys me is when they move state, but are only nominally part of the state team. It’s not his fault, he plays more cricket than anyone else practically, but I do have this vague fantastical urge to see MJ just once in Warrior colours.

      • I wouldn’t mind seeing Watto play the odd game for NSW as well!

  6. I think Nathan Bracken got the worst treatment. If Brett Lee can get picked, why not him? I mean, Andrew McDonald? Seriously? And the less said about the injustice done to Stu Clark the better.

  7. But Purna there are only so many golden handshakes they can hand out in a 25 space line-up. Bracken and Clark will not be in Aus colours again, whereas there is always the chance that Andy Mc might be as he was on the Ashes tour and on the Indian ODI tour.

    I’m not too sure that Tait will be appearing in ODI’s again, he barely looks fit enough for twenty/20.

  8. The lad Warner has impressed me from looking like a slogger to looking like a batsman who slogs which is fine. He’s coming to England too -well paid no doubt, but he will learn a lot about different conditions and old pros!

    David Hussey and Nathan Bracken would walk into most T20 squads – Brett Lee wouldn’t. Nuff said.

    Hilfy did superbly in The Ashes and Tim Paine looks very impressive, so it’s great to see them supported.

  9. Hilfy also did well in the first test match v WI at home. He looked far and away the best bowler in that match. They’d have been bonkers not to keep him in the picture.

  10. Lou – and selectors being bonkers? That could never happen. Ask Darren Pattinson.

  11. They are not that bonkers.

    And Darren Pattinson was an odd pick, but he was doing very well on the County circuit and so sort of understandable especially now as we can all see the way the wind is blowing from the southern hemisphere. Just a sniff of a player having come from SA and they are in like Flynn.

  12. That’s Brett Lee’s money down the gurgler already.

  13. Interesting piece of writing. Many thanks for sharing


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