Josh Inglis bags Cricket Australia contract, Kane, Jhye Richardson lose contracts

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Dynamic wicketkeeper-batter Josh Inglis has continued his rapid rise by earning a full Cricket Australia contract for the first time, but his state teammate Jhye Richardson has been dropped from the list of 20 players announced today.

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Richardson played both Test and T20 cricket during the summer before he was rested from the recent tour of Pakistan, with chief selector George Bailey citing the need to manage the 25-year-old’s workload following a string of recent injuries.

Cricket Australia men’s contract list 2022-23: Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner, Adam Zampa

Richardson is one of four players named on CA’s men’s contract 12 months ago who has missed out today, joining fellow quick Kane Richardson, former Test skipper Tim Paine and paceman James Pattinson, who has retired from international cricket.

Josh Inglis looks to hit one, Australia vs Sri Lanka, 4th T20I, Melbourne, February 18, 2022
Photo Images: Getty Images

Of the seven players named today who were not part of the 17-player group announced last year, six had earned upgrades during the past 12 months; Scott Boland, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Stoinis and Mitchell Swepson.

The exception is Inglis, who has been picked in squads for all three formats in the past six months and made his T20 debut against Sri Lanka in February.

The group of 20 players are those selectors believe will represent Australia over the next 12 months, which will include their T20 World Cup defence, a full home summer as well as Test tours of Sri Lanka and India.

A maximum of 20 players can be contracted under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Australian Cricketers’ Association, with Bailey saying it had been “challenging” to limit the group to 20 given the upcoming series across all three formats.

Players not named today can earn a full contract by earning 12 ‘upgrade points’ during the year, with a Test match worth five points, an ODI two points and a T20 one point.

Jhye Richardson underlined his enormous potential by taking a match-winning five-wicket haul in the second Ashes Test in Adelaide last December before also playing a role in the T20 series against Sri Lanka in February.

Jhye Richardson out of World Cup, Kane called up
Photo Credit: Getty Images

However, his struggle to maintain full fitness during the summer, which continued a frustrating run of injuries in recent years, may have counted against him.

Having played just one Test during the Ashes, Richardson missed the recent Marsh Sheffield Shield final in Perth after suffering a hamstring injury in the One-Day Cup final last month.

The immediate future of namesake Kane Richardson is also clouded. The 31-year-old has been a key part of Australia’s limited-overs set-up in recent years but did not play a game at last year’s T20 World Cup due to the availability of star quicks Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc.

Having opted out of the tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh last winter due to bio-bubble fatigue and missed the recent Pakistan tour due to injury, the right-armer has played just 12 T20s for Australia in the past two years.

He has also recently moved from South Australia to Queensland for family reasons, leaving his future at state level unclear as well.

Another notable omission is Test opener Marcus Harris, who played the first four Tests of Australia’s Ashes triumph last summer before being unseated due to the sparkling return of Khawaja.

The left-hander, consistently one of the leading run-scorers in Sheffield Shield cricket, will spend the winter in England with county side, Gloucestershire.

“We believe this group provides us great coverage and versatility across all formats while others, as we saw in the past year, will continue to get opportunities to play a big part,” Bailey said in a statement.

“With a tour of Sri Lanka, a home World Cup, home summer and tour of India there is an enormous amount of cricket to be played where the strength of our squads and depth will be challenged.

“To contract just 20 players was challenging given the number of key series and the cycle of upcoming T20 and one-day World Cups, all of which will require varying skill sets and combinations.”

The contract upgrade is another show of faith in Inglis, who is highly regarded despite currently being behind Alex Carey in Test and ODI cricket and Matthew Wade in the shortest form of the game.

But the versatile 27-year-old would be expected to be picked as a reserve wicketkeeper for Australia’s upcoming Test campaigns and could force his way into the XI for their T20 World Cup defence later this year having impressed on his debut against Sri Lanka.

Wade, a match-winner in the difficult No.7 position at last year’s World Cup, has not been contracted but is expected to feature in that spot again this year, with Inglis an option to bat in the middle order or even open the innings if required.

The future of Paine also remains unclear following his tearful resignation as Test skipper last November. The 37-year-old is yet to make a formal announcement about his playing future.

Cricket Australia men’s contract list 2022-23: Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner, Adam Zampa


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