Six new Aussie players have been given central contracts but veteran David Hussey is omitted.
Cricket Australia have named the 20 players that are to be centrally contracted for the next 12 months, with some high profile stars missing out.
Joining skipper Michael Clarke and vice-captain Shane Watson in the group, are batsmen Ed Cowan and Philip Hughes, all-rounders James Faulkner and Glenn Maxwell, fast bowler Clint McKay and Twenty20 captain George Bailey.
Yet there is no place for Usman Khawaja, Jackson Bird or 35-year-old batsman David Hussey – younger brother of Mike.
“We’re in transition and we’re looking to offer experience to those young players we think will come through best,” Australia’s chief selector John Inverarity said on Sky Sports when asked why Hussey was left out.
There is a place in the 20-man group for fast bowler Pat Cummins however, who kept his contract despite still recovering from a back problem that will probably keep him out of the first Ashes series of 2013.
All-rounders Steve Smith and Moises Henriques are two players that featured in Australia’s recent tour of India and have not been awarded central contracts, despite some suggestions they would.
Smith filled in for Khawaja against the Indians whilst the latter was suspended and Henriques enjoyed a solid Test series debut but clearly did not impress the selectors enough.
However, with the Australians suffering their first 4-0 whitewash defeat since 1970 on their tour of India, it’s likely that they want to shake the squad up before back-to-back Ashes series this year.
The full list is as follows; George Bailey, Michael Clarke (captain), Ed Cowan, Pat Cummins, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Brad Haddin (w), Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus, Philip Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade (w), David Warner, Shane Watson.