Symonds gets Ashes boost
Andrew Symonds has been retained as a centrally contracted player ahead of the Australian Ashes squad being named.
Last Updated: 14/05/09 9:58am
Controversial all-rounder Andrew Symonds has been retained as a centrally contracted player ahead of the Australian Ashes squad being named.
The 33-year-old has endured a tumultuous eight months off the field but has retained his place in the 25-man list announced by Cricket Australia in Adelaide.
His inclusion is a boost for his chances of being selected next Wednesday in Australia's Ashes squad.
The list contains seven new faces - as expected, Phillip Hughes, Peter Siddle, Andrew McDonald and Marcus North were handed contracts after strong Test form against South Africa.
New South Wales off-spinner Nathan Hauritz, the only slow bowler on the list, was rewarded for his encouraging recent performances in the one-day arena.
Star batsman Callum Ferguson won his first CA contract as did his South Australia team-mate and wicketkeeper Graham Manou, whose deal is a strong indication he is now viewed as Brad Haddin's understudy.
"Callum Ferguson has had an impressive debut in one-day cricket and will be an important part of our future in that form of the game," said chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch.
"He'll be looking to take every opportunity to force his way into Test cricket.
"Graham Manou has been named as the other wicketkeeper on the list. No-one can doubt his credentials following his performance in state cricket over the last two seasons, in all forms of the game."
The seven new faces replace retired pair Matthew Hayden and Stuart MacGill, forgotten opener Phil Jaques, leg-spinner Beau Casson, Western Australian batsman Adam Voges and pace duo Shaun Tait and Ashley Noffke.
Victorian star Brad Hodge holds onto his contract despite not playing for his country in nearly 12 months, but batting sensation David Warner and spinner Jason Krejza missed out.
Contracts are awarded to players based on their form over the past 12 months, their likelihood of playing for Australia in the next 12 months, team balance and the need to ensure the future development of Test and limited overs teams.
Players are ranked from one to 25 by national selectors and paid accordingly.
CA contracted players: Doug Bollinger, Nathan Bracken, Stuart Clark, Michael Clarke, Callum Ferguson, Brad Haddin, Nathan Hauritz, Ben Hilfenhaus, Brad Hodge, James Hopes, Phillip Hughes, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Simon Katich, Brett Lee, Graham Manou, Shaun Marsh, Andrew McDonald, Marcus North, Ricky Ponting, Peter Siddle, Andrew Symonds, Shane Watson, Cameron White.