Travis Head is among the high-profile exclusions from Cricket Australia’s contract list for 2021/2022.
Earmarked as a future Australian captain — and having already served as the team’s vice-captain — Head was dropped from the Test team during last summer’s series loss to India and has had salt rubbed into the wound by losing his contract.
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Earlier reports indicated Matthew Wade and young gun Will Pucovski would also miss out — which proved to be the case — while West Australian all-rounder Cameron Green earned his first contract after a breakout summer that saw him make his Test and ODI debuts.
Head has come under fire for failing to convert promising starts in the middle order and even though he boasts a healthy average of 39.75, the 27-year-old has averaged less than 34 in five of his seven Test series to date.
He played the first two Tests against India last summer but was punted after mustering just 62 runs across three innings.
The South Australian was once the up-and-coming golden boy of Australian cricket, tipped for big things from a young age, but is in danger of failing to live up to his potential if he can’t transfer his imposing domestic form onto the international stage.
Head is on the outer.Source:Getty Images
Seventeen players were handed contracts — down from the usual number of 20 — which national selector Trevor Hohns said was down to two main reasons.
“Firstly, we have seen format specialisation become increasingly prevalent in recent seasons which, accordingly, has resulted in a broader group of players representing Australia, often beyond the initial list of contracted players at the start of each year,” Hohns said.
“Secondly, we want to create an environment where players strive for national selection through consistent domestic performances and earn national contracts through consistent international performances.
“There will continue to be opportunities and support for players outside this group to represent Australia and earn an upgrade to a central contract with strong performances throughout the year.
“But in naming these 17 players, we believe we have a strong core group which cover all forms of the game for the 12 months ahead.”
Other notable omissions included Joe Burns, who like Head was dropped midway through the India series, Mitchell Marsh and Marcus Stoinis, who all held contracts previously.
CA Contract list 2021/2022: Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, James Pattinson, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner, Adam Zampa.
More to come …
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