T20 World Cup stars Beth Mooney, Alyssa Healy among the 2020-21 Cricket Australia contracted players

Pace sensation Tayla Vlaeminck celebrates a wicket with her teammates
Youngsters like Tayla Vlaeminck Annabel Sutherland have got the backing of captain Meg Lanning.

Tayla Vlaeminck, Annabel Sutherland and Georgia Wareham are among the “next-gen” players that were awarded central contracts by Cricket Australia this year. Sutherland, an 18 year old all-rounder from Melbourne was a part of the victorious Women’s T20 World Cup winning team in March. She is the daughter of former Cricket Australia CEO, James Sutherland and sister of the 2018 Men’s U-19 World Cup star, Will. 

Wareham also collected her winner’s medal but Vlaeminck, who was originally named in the squad had to eventually miss out with injury.

Erin Burns and Vlaeminck’s replacement Molly Strano remain the only members from that squad to have been excluded. Interestingly, Burns wasn’t included in the 2019-20 list either but got herself a contract after earning an upgrade last year. Experienced stars Nicole Bolton and Elyse Villani were among the bigger names to miss out.

But they could yet regain their deal with CA by accruing enough upgrade points. Players who miss out on the initial contract list can be upgraded during the year by getting selected in the national teams. Players need to accrue 12 upgrade points to earn a contract – with Tests worth four points and ODIs and T20s two each for women and Tests worth five points, ODIs two points and T20s one point for men.

South Australian Tahlia McGrath is perhaps the relatively unknown name on the list, having earned the last of her 5 caps in 2017. However, national selector Shawn Flegler said the addition of fast bowling all-rounder McGrath will provide cover for the injuries suffered by Ellyse Perry and Vlaeminck.

“McGrath has been a consistent performer over the last few seasons with bat and ball, including the five matches she played for Australia during the 2017 Ashes series. With Tayla and Ellyse Perry coming back from long-term injuries, Tahlia will add extra depth to our allrounders, especially with her bowling,” Flegler said.

Marnus Labuschagne and Matthew Wade celebrate during their partnership against Pakistan in 2019
Impressive Test match knocks from Marnus Labuschagne and Matthew Wade in 2019 presented them with central contracts in 2020-2021.

In the men’s list, Marnus Labuschagne, Matthew Wade and Mitchell Marsh were among six new faces to make the cut whereas the likes of Usman Khawaja and Marcus Stoinis were shock omissions on the 20 man list. Top order batsman Khawaja has been a regular in the Australian Test set-up and found his name missing on the document for the first time in five years. Stoinis, on the other hand, was the leading run-scorer in the 2019-20 Big Bash League and can double up as a pace bowler.

Veteran Matthew Wade’s gutsy showings in the 2019 Ashes seemed to have convinced the selectors of his credibility as a batsman alone, as he effectively took over the No.5 role from another experienced left-hander in Shaun Marsh. Peter Handscomb, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Marcus Harris are the other players to have been left out having been awarded contracts in 2019-20.

CA men’s contract list: 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

CA women’s contract list: Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Meg Lanning, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham

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