Will Pucovski is likely to open alongside David Warner in next summer’s Ashes, but the Victorian top-order batsman has missed out on a Cricket Australia contract.
It’s understood the 23-year-old wasn’t given a CA contract, with Matthew Wade, who played all four Tests against India over the summer and likely to feature during the T20 World Cup in India, dumped.
Cricket Australia will reveal its contracted players on Thursday.
It’s expected they will only hand out 17 contracts – down from 20 the previous year. Players who miss out can be upgraded during the year if they earn enough points via selection for national teams. It’s thought COVID-19 and the financial pressures associated with the pandemic has resulted in CA scaling back central contracts like others codes such as rugby union. Australia’s leaner international calendar than usual is another factor, with Tim Paine’s team to only play against Afghanistan in November before taking on England in five-Tests.
The scaling back of contracts will put more financial pressures on the states.
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After a number of false starts, Pucovski at long last made his debut against India at the SCG and made 62 and 10, before injuring his shoulder and missing the fourth Test. It continued his wretched arrival to the international game, where the compact right-hander had pulled out previously because of mental health concerns as well as concussion.
Pucovski was selected for the aborted Test tour of South Africa. He averages 53.41 in first-class cricket.
Fellow Test opener and Victorian teammate Marcus Harris, who failed to take his opportunity in the fourth Test against India with scored of 5 and 38, has also not been given a CA contract.
All-rounder Cameron Green, who looked calm and composed during his debut Test summer and finished as the Sheffield Shield’s leading runscorer, is likely to be included in the prestigious 17-man list. The 21-year-old scored 236 runs at 33.71 against India.
Marnus Labuschagne is expected to earn a massive pay rise following yet another outstanding summer, which finished with player of the match honours in the Sheffield Shield final against NSW.
Meanwhile, Wade’s dumping comes off the back of his disappointing home summer.
The left-hander fought his way during the 2019 Ashes and scored two centuries in England, but the gritty batsman failed to make the most of his starts during the recent summer. He failed to pass 50 in four Tests against India despite reaching 30 on four occasions.
Wade missed selection for Australia’s tour of South Africa, but looked in reasonable touch against New Zealand during the five-match T20 tour. Once again however he failed to build on his starts, with four scored between 44 and 14.
Queensland opener Joe Burns is another expected to be dropped from the list after being axed throughout the summer.
CRICKET AUSTRALIA CONTRACT LISTS FOR 2020-21:
Ashton Agar, Joe Burns, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, James Pattinson, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
CRICKET AUSTRALIA CONTRACT LISTS FOR 2021-22:
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