Sydney: Test opener Ed Cowan will be a surprise exclusion from Cricket Australia’s trimmed-down contract list despite the governing body’s prime focus on Test cricket.
Other high-profile cricketers to be dropped include veteran pacer Brett Lee and Cowan`s Tasmanian teammate George Bailey, who is to miss out on a national deal even though he is a vital part of the selectors’ plans as captain of Australia’s World Twenty20 campaign in Sri Lanka later this year.
The contracts, along with details of the new performance-based pay model, will be announced after a memorandum of understanding is signed, perhaps this week.
The selectors had to slash the contract list from 25 to 17 as part of Cricket Australia’s response to the Argus review, which called for “a premium for Tests” in determining each player’s value, sources reported.
Cowan’s omission seems a tough call given the stated renewed emphasis on Tests. It suggests he has some work to do to cement his position before next year’s Ashes.
Cowan, 30, is preparing to captain Australia A in England next month, a tour that will give several Ashes aspirants important experience of cricket in England.