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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Some interesting inclusions and omissions in contract list

Cricket Australia's 25 player contract list for the next year contains a few surprises.

The list is:

Doug Bollinger: NSW, 27
Nathan Bracken: NSW, 31
Stuart Clark: NSW, 33
Michael Clarke: NSW, 28
Callum Ferguson: SA, 24
Brad Haddin: NSW, 31
Nathan Hauritz: NSW, 27
Ben Hilfenhaus: TAS, 26
Brad Hodge: VIC, 34
James Hopes: QLD, 30
Phillip Hughes: NSW, 20
David Hussey: VIC, 31
Mike Hussey: WA, 33
Mitchell Johnson: WA, 27
Simon Katich: NSW, 33
Brett Lee: NSW, 32
Graham Manou: SA, 30
Shaun Marsh: WA, 25
Andrew McDonald: VIC, 27
Marcus North: WA, 29
Ricky Ponting: TAS, 34
Peter Siddle: VIC, 24
Andrew Symonds: QLD, 33
Shane Watson: NSW, 27
Cameron White: VIC, 25

A noteworthy inclusion (not only to parochial South Australians) is Graham Manou, the long serving SA wicketkeeper and latterly captain whose batting has flourished in recent years. Another is Brad Hodge, the seemingly perennial reserve batter.

Brendan McArdle in The Age goes into bat for Hodge and poses some pertinent questions: "why does he constantly get overlooked, and how will his career be perceived in time?"

Two omissions which have raised some eyebrows are Phil Jaques and Shaun Tait, both of whom have been afflicted by injuries, Jaques after a long Hodge-style time in the wings and Tait after touching the heights in the 2007 World Cup. Will they return? I think that both could but that Jaques' age and questions about his fitness may make it had for him. Tait should be able to but seems to have accepted being typecast as a limited overs specialist.
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