Usman Khawaja overlooked as Cricket Australia reveal 2020-21 contract list

Marnus Labuschagne and Joe Burns have been included in Cricket Australia’s contract list, with out-of-favour veteran Usman Khawaja headlining six expected omissions, while teenage star Annabel Sutherland is one of three new faces on the women’s list.

There were few surprises in the 20-strong men’s group that national selectors picked to steer Australia through a challenging stretch that includes a Twenty20 World Cup and much-anticipated Test series against India.

Khawaja and Marcus Harris both have not played for Australia since last year’s Ashes tour and lost their national contracts. Nathan Coulter-Nile, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh and Marcus Stoinis were also axed from the list, having been overlooked by selectors since featuring in last year’s one-day World Cup.

Burns, who was recalled at the start of the previous home summer, has been elevated to the list alongside fellow Test batsmen Labuschagne and Matthew Wade. Allrounder Mitch Marsh, paceman Kane Richardson and spinner Ashton Agar have also been given deals after being left off the original 2019-20 list.

The 33-year-old Khawaja, who was Australia’s most important batsman during Warner and Steve Smith’s suspension, hasn’t come close to national selection since being dropped and is seemingly unlikely to add to his 44 Tests and 40 ODIs.

“As Mitch Marsh and Matthew Wade have proven there are always plenty of opportunities for those who have missed out to be re-selected by performing consistently at domestic level,” chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said.

“And importantly to make the most of any opportunity that comes their way at international level. As is always the case there are unlucky omissions but, however, because you are not on the list does not mean you cannot be selected to represent Australia.”

Glenn Maxwell hasn’t played for Australia since a T20 last October, having taken a mental-health break then undergone elbow surgery that forced him to miss a recent tour of South Africa. Selectors have retained Maxwell on the national list, confirming he remains part of their plans for 2020-21.

On the women’s side, Sutherland and 21-year-old quick Tayla Vlaeminck were both named in the 15-strong squad, alongside South Australian Tahlia McGrath. Opening bat Nicole Bolton and middle-order player Elyse Villani have dropped off ahead of this summer’s scheduled one-day World Cup.

Sutherland had been upgraded to a contract during the summer after making her debut before the Twenty20 World Cup, but this selection marks her first in the initial squad. The young sensation, who is the daughter of former CA chief James Sutherland and sister of Victorian all-rounder Will Sutherland, made her debut for the Melbourne Renegades as a 15-year-old.

Meanwhile McGrath’s call up is notable given she has not represented Australia since the 2016-17 Ashes.

“With Tayla and Ellyse Perry coming back from long-term injuries, Tahlia will add extra depth to our all-rounders, especially with her bowling,” chief selector Shaun Flegler said.

“We saw that depth come into play during the recent World Cup and we know that will be important with another World Cup scheduled this summer.”

Bolton last played for Australia in the 50-over component of the Ashes last year, and was the leading run-scorer in the domestic one-day competition last summer.

But Australia have shown a willingness to forge ahead with Rachael Haynes and Alyssa Healy as their openers in the one-day format.

Men: Ashton Agar, Joe Burns, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, James Pattinson, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

Women: 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.

source: theguardian.com

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