Steven Smith, David Warner, and Cameron Bancroft have been dropped from Cricket Australia’s central contract list. The step has been taken following the sanctions in March in the wake of a ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town.
The three players are suspended as of now and are serving their respective bans for their involvement in ‘Sandpaper Gate’.
While Steven Smith and Warner are serving a ban of one year, Bancroft is eligible to return after nine months.
Apart from these three, Jackson Bird, Hilton Cartwright, James Pattinson, Matthew Wade and Adam Zampa are the other players to be dropped.
While the dropping of Bird comes as a surprise, Cartright is not in the scheme of things at the moment and was likely to lose out on a contract.
Bird, on the other hand, was a part of Australia’s Ashes side. The paceman was named for South Africa tour (ruled out due to an injury). But still, he didn’t find a place on the list.
Pattinson’s injury issues saw his international appearances being curtailed.
It is yet to be known when he will recover to be fully fit to play Australia again. Wade and Zampa’s poor form has put them out of contract list.
Gloveman Wade, though, performed well in the Sheffield Shield final. He played an innings of 108 to be in contention.
However, with Tim Paine as captain, his chances of making a comeback anytime soon are less.
He made a return in Aussie Test side for Ashes 2017/18. Moreover, went onto make his ODI comeback as well.
Cricket Australia has shown immense faith in the young players, having one eye on future.
Alex Carey, Jhye Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Paine, Shaun Marsh and Kane Richardson have been handed central contracts.
In addition, Carey has just played one ODI and five T20Is. On the other hand, Jhye – who was hastened into the Test squad – has just played one ODI and two T20Is.
The non-inclusion of D’Arcy Short came as a big surprise. The aggressive batsman performed well in the Trans-Tasman series following the remarkable Big Bash League (BBL) season.
“This period is set to include a significant amount of limited-overs cricket, including the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales,” Trevor Hohns, national selector said in a statement.
“For that reason, there has been a bit of a focus in this contracting period on white-ball cricket, as we look ahead to trying to win back-to-back World Cups,” Hohns asserted.
“Kane (Richardson) has been rewarded for strong performances in the Sheffield Shield and his efforts when selected for Australia in limited-overs cricket, where he continues to impress. Jhye (Richardson) is a young fast bowler who has been on the fringes of selection in all three forms of the game,” Hohns added.
“He’s an exciting prospect who has played ODI and T20 cricket for Australia this summer, and was in the Test squad for the recent tour of South Africa,” Hohns stated.
“Marcus (Stoinis) is a player who has featured regularly for Australia in limited-overs cricket over the last 12 months, and is a player of promise who has impressed with his all-round capabilities on the international stage,” the statement added.
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