Cricket Australia has confirmed its men’s contract list for a huge year featuring the Ashes, the World Test Championship final and the World Cup, with Mitch Swepson axed and three contenders missing out.
Leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson’s international career is at a crossroads after he was axed from Cricket Australia’s men’s 2023-24 extended contract list.
But CA has been rewarded with its deep pool of seam bowlers, with Jhai Richardson, Lance Morris, Michael Nesser and Sean Abbott all added to the 24-man roster.
As first reported by CODE Sports on Wednesday, opener Marcus Harris has also been added to the central roster, which is up from last year’s 20 players following a recently signed MOU change.
A long wait in the wings of Australia’s Test squad, Swepson finally got his green in Pakistan last year, playing four Tests on that tour and the following series in Sri Lanka, taking 10 wickets at 45.8.
But the 29-year-old Queenslander fell back at the tail end of the summer, with Ashton Agar, Todd Murphy and Matt Kunemann being selected ahead of him at various stages.
Despite the end of his Test career, Agar’s prowess with the white ball kept him on the CA list, while Murphy was added for the first time in a year. Kunnemann, however, has been bypassed as Australia do not tour Asia for Test cricket next year.
Harris missed the tour of India, which was favored by Peter Handscomb and Matthew Renshaw, but their selection in the subcontinent proved to be horses for courses, with Harris in the box seat for Handscomb, Renshaw and Resurgent on this year’s Ashes tour. for Cameron Bancroft, neither of whom received center trades.
A veteran member of the national squad, Nessery has finally been slotted after his outstanding consistency in domestic cricket and strong performances in Australia’s one-off opportunities.
There is also the recall of Richardson, who remains in the selectors’ minds despite his injury problems in recent seasons.
“In the World Test Championship, two huge challenges in the Test arena and the Ashes are on our doorstep, followed immediately by the ICC One Day World Cup. We have selected a group of players that we expect to make up the majority of those two campaigns and we know we will need a team mentality to succeed,” CA head of selection George Bailey said.
“As we find every year, there is a lot of cricket in the next six to 12 months and our depth will be tested. The six Test matches in the winter come in relatively short succession and we have a busy period of white-ball cricket leading up to the ODI World Cup and beyond.
“The NSP (National Selection Committee) supports and approves an amendment to the MOU agreement that allows for a further scope of additional contracts, which in turn creates additional depth in the next period, as well as maintaining the ability to use others from outside. this list.”
As revealed by CODE Sports earlier this week, T20 specialists such as Nathan Ellis and Tim David could be more easily upgraded to central contracts following a change to the points system in the new MOU. Aaron Finch is the only other player left off last year’s list after retiring from international duty.