Jhye Richardson loses Cricket Australia contract, Josh Inglis included
Inglis has impressed early in his T20I career against Sri Lanka and Pakistan having been a reserve player at the T20 World Cup. He could yet push for a permanent spot in the T20I side ahead of the next World Cup in October. Stoinis and Marsh – the latter promoted to No. 3 with huge success – were central in Australia’s success last year but another key name, Matthew Wade, does not get a contract.
Jhye Richardson is the most notable absentee despite not being a regular selection. He took a five-wicket haul in his one Ashes appearance in Adelaide before being sidelined for the rest of the series then the decision was taken not to consider him for the Pakistan tour. He picked up another injury late in the season with Western Australia.
Kane Richardson, who was ruled out of the Pakistan limited-overs trip with injury, played just four T20Is during the last contract period having not been able to force his way into the starting line-up at the World Cup.
Head has enjoyed an impressive comeback season across all three formats having made two centuries in the Ashes then plundered runs in the ODI series against Pakistan and finishing it with a brisk cameo in the T20I.
It was his absence from the fourth Ashes Test in Sydney due to Covid which opened the door for Khawaja’s return and what became one of the great rebirths as he plundered twin centuries in the match. That led to a rejigging of Australia’s batting order with Khawaja unseating Marcus Harris at the top of the order and he went on to produce a Player-of-the-Series 496 runs at 165.33 against Pakistan.
Harris, meanwhile, having been the reserve batter in Pakistan, misses the contract list altogether. He is one of a number of Australians who will now join county cricket.
The other terrific story from the Ashes was the debut of Boland and his incredible figures of 6 for 7 at the MCG. He continued that form through the final two Tests to hold a Test average of 9.55 although was unable to add to his three caps in Pakistan.
“It has been a terrific 12 months highlighted by the successes of the T20 World Cup, the Ashes and the Pakistan Test series,” national selector George Bailey said. “The performances by Mitch Marsh, Usman, Travis, Scott, Marcus and Mitch Swepson were pivotal in helping secure those successes and we are pleased they have retained their contracts for the upcoming year after being rewarded with upgrades throughout the past season.”
Australia face another hectic 12 months across formats beginning with a full tour of Sri Lanka in June and July. There is then the possibility of some matches in the Top End late in the winter ahead of the T20 World Cup from mid-October and a full home season. They are then scheduled to tour India early in 2023.
“We believe this group provide us great coverage and versatility across all formats while others, as we saw in the past year, will continue to get opportunities to play a big part,” Bailey said. “With a tour of Sri Lanka, a home World Cup, home summer and tour of India there is an enormous amount of cricket to be played where the strength of our squads and depth will be challenged.”
Players not included in the contracts list can be upgraded once they reach 12 points based on appearances: a Test is worth five, an ODI two and a T20I one.
Contracts list Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner, Adam Zampa
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo