Jofra Archer was the biggest gainer in the central contact list announced by the England Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday. On the expected lines, Archer has been rewarded with both red-ball and white-ball contracts after his heroic four months in international cricket.
The right-arm pacer’s performances first saw ECB bring down the eligibility criteria so that he can be a part of World Cup 2019 squad. Archer did not disappoint and was the star in England’s maiden World Cup win.
He converted his white-balls success in red-ball cricket and has 22 wickets in four Test matches. On his debut, Archer had famously floored Steve Smith with his bouncer.
Along with Archer, Test skipper Joe Root, his deputy Ben Stokes, white-ball vice-captain Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes and Jonny Bairstow have been handed both white-ball and red-ball contracts. Woakes was recently dropped from playing XI for the fourth Test but remains to be an integral part of the team.
The board has surprisingly dropped Liam Plunkett from white-ball contract list. Since his comeback, he has been part England’s set-up and has also done well but the growth of other pacers might have forced ECB to omit him.
Stuart Broad and James Anderson have been offered red-ball contracts along with Rory Burns and Sam Curran. Both remain to be part of England’s Test plans.
Joe Denly, who made his Test debut earlier this year, has surprisingly been given only a white-ball contract. Though he did not come up with extraordinary performances but did well after being promoted as the opener. Still, he wasn’t offered a Test contract that almost confirms that England are yet to ink on Rory Burns’ opening partner.
Another surprise was the absence of Tom Curran, a part of England’s World Cup-winning squad. The right-arm pacer has been given incremental deal along with Test spinner Jack Leach.
Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali lost their Test contracts. While Rashid did not play any part in Ashes due to an injury, Moeen was dropped after the first Test. Going ahead, Leach has confirmed his place as the lead Test spinner and might be joined by Amar Virdi for the New Zealand tour.
Apart from Plunkett, David Willey and Alex Hales also lost their central contracts.
James Anderson (Lancashire), Jofra Archer (Sussex), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Sam Curran (Surrey), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire).
ODIs / T20s:
Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jofra Archer (Sussex), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Joe Denly (Kent), Eoin Morgan (Middlesex), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Jason Roy (Surrey), Ben Stokes (Durham), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham).