Cricket Australia (CA) have announced a list of 24 players who have been offered a central contract for 2023-24, four more than last year. Todd Murphy and Sean Abbott who received an upgrade last year have been offered contracts for the upcoming year.
Murphy made his Test debut against India recently, impressed everyone with a seven-wicket haul on his debut. Abbott, on the other hand, who played nine ODIs and a couple of T20Is since 2022 also finds a place in the list.
Moreover, Michael Neser, Lance Morris, Jhye Richardson, and Marcus Harris, who did not hold a contract last year have been handed one this time.
Morris was part of the Test squad that went to India earlier this year, but could not get a game despite injuries at different stages to their first-choice bowlers with Scott Boland preferred ahead of him.
Among those missing out are Matthew Wade, Matthew Renshaw, Peter Handscomb and Matthew Kuhnemann, who received upgrades last year, but were not considered this time around. Aaron Finch, who recently retired and also leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson are the other two players with contracts last year to miss out. However, David Warner, who is potentially in the last legs of his career, makes the cut, keeping in mind the upcoming Ashes and the ODI World Cup to follow.
Players who are not part of the contract list can still earn an upgrade by accumulating 12 upgrade points during the course of the year. Players receive five points for a Test and two each for a One-Day International (ODI) and a T20 International (T20I).
“There has been some outstanding individual and team performances through the past 12 months. Equally, we have been extremely impressed with the emergence of some players who are knocking on the door of Australian selection across all three formats,” Chair of National Selectors George Bailey said.
“Two huge challenges in the Test arena in The World Test Championship and the Ashes are on our doorstep followed soon after by the ICC One-Day World Cup.
"We have chosen a group of players we expect will form the majority of those two campaigns and we know that we will need a squad mentality to achieve success.
“As we find each year now, there is a lot of cricket in the next six to 12 months and our depth will be tested. The six Test matches during the winter are in relatively short succession and we have a busy period of white-ball cricket leading up to, and post, the ODI World Cup.
“The NSP support and endorse the change to the MOU agreement which allows further scope for additional contracts which in turn creates additional depth to call on in the next period, as well as retaining the ability to utilise others from outside of this list.”
Australia’s centrally contracted players for 2023-24: Pat Cummins, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Lance Morris, Todd Murphy, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar