Contract snub for Prior

Anderson and Sidebottom earn central deals from the ECB

By Graeme Mair.   Last Updated: 10/09/07 2:15pm

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Prior: no deal

Prior: no deal

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The England and Wales Cricket Board have awarded central contracts to 12 players, but there is no deal for wicketkeeper Matt Prior.

"Jimmy Anderson's form in both Test and one-day cricket this summer has been impressive and we are also very pleased with the progress Ryan Sidebottom has made following his return to the international team earlier this season."
David Graveney Quotes of the week

Prior has been an ever-present behind the stumps in all forms of cricket since the start of the summer, but his inconsistent performances mean the selectors have not handed him a central contract.

For the second successive year there are no wicketkeepers among 12 players, with fast bowlers James Anderson and Ryan Sidebottom the only new names on the list.

"The awarding of 12-month central contracts to two new players, James Anderson and Ryan Sidebottom, is based on the contribution they have made to the team in recent months and their anticipated level of involvement in international cricket during the next year," said chairman of selectors David Graveney.

"Jimmy Anderson's form in both Test and one-day cricket this summer has been impressive and we are also very pleased with the progress Ryan Sidebottom has made following his return to the international team earlier this season."

Experience preferred to youth

Young pacemen Stuart Broad and Chris Tremlett - who have both shown great promise during their fledgling international careers - are both overlooked, but Test specialists Stephen Harmison and Matthew Hoggard are retained.

Graveney did offer hope to those outside the 12-man elite, saying: "Overall, one less 12-month central contract has been awarded than last year. We can, however, recommend the award of six-month summer contracts to individual players from next April if performances on overseas tours merit this."

Trio released

Ashley Giles, Simon Jones and Marcus Trescothick are the players to not have their contracts renewed - all three having suffered an injury-plagued 12 months.

Left-arm spinner Giles was forced to retire due to a hip injury earlier in the summer, while paceman Jones is currently in the process of coming back after career-saving knee surgery.

Somerset opener Trescothick has played a full county season since a stress-related illness forced his premature return from last winter's Ashes tour.

However, the 31-year-old does not feel ready to return to the international stage, leaving the ECB with little option but to end his central deal.

More faith has been shown in Trescothick's former opening partner Andrew Strauss, who retains a central contract despite a difficult 12 months during which his poor form has seen him axed from the one-day side.

There are three different salary bands among the ECB central contracts, which are not disclosed publicly.

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