SYDNEY (Reuters) - All-rounder Marcus Stoinis and fast bowlers Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson and Andrew Tye have been awarded central contracts with Cricket Australia for the first time as the team looks to focus on limited overs cricket over the next 12 months.
Wicketkeeper Alex Carey, who made his international debut in both Twenty20 and one-day cricket earlier this year, was also given a central contract for the first time.
Former captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and opening batsman Cameron Bancroft were all predictably missing from the 20-man list released on Wednesday following their role in the recent ball-tampering scandal.
Smith and Warner were both banned for 12 months, and Bancroft for nine months for colluding to rough up the ball with sandpaper during the third test against South Africa last month.
All three have said they would accept the bans.
Australia have a heavy limited-overs programme over the next 12 months, with the World Cup in England next June and July the focus, chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said.
“This period is set to include a significant amount of limited-overs cricket, including the ... Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales,” Hohns said.
“For that reason, there has been a bit of a focus in this contracting period on white-ball cricket, as we look ahead to trying to win back-to-back World Cups.”
Batsman Shaun Marsh and wicketkeeper Tim Paine, who assumed the captaincy from Smith during the South African series, also return to the central list.
Fast bowlers Jackson Bird and Chadd Sayers, both of whom featured for the test team in the last six months, did not receive a central contract.
Injured bowlers James Pattinson and Nathan Coulter-Nile both also missed out, but all four remain in contention for upgraded domestic contracts if they are called into the national side, Hohns said.
“Jackson and Chadd have missed out on this occasion, but they remain in the frame for Australian honours moving forward and can be upgraded if selected,” Hohns said.
“We would like to see both James and Nathan now put some consistent games together for their states.
“They are both quality fast bowlers and we have no doubt that if they can play regularly and remain fit in the upcoming season, they will become very positive selection options for us.”
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Gold Coast, Australia; Editing by Peter Rutherford