SYDNEY               -                Batsmen Marnus Labuschagne and Joe Burns were among the six new players who were awarded the central contract for the 2020-21 season by Cricket Australia.

The national selectors announced a 35-member (20 men and 15 women) list for the same on Thursday. Ashton Agar, Mitchell Marsh, Kane Richardson and Matthew Wade were the other four new additions to the previous list along with Labuschagne and Burns. Notable absentees included Usman Khawaja, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Shaun Marsh and Marcus Stoinis.

“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; and importantly to make the most of any opportunity that comes their way at international level,” men’s national selector Trevor Hohns said. “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.”

The women’s list included a surprise addition in form of all-rounder Tahlia McGrath, who has not been a part of the national side since 2017. Along with her, Annabel Sutherland and Tayla Vlaeminck have been added to the list while Elyse Villani, Erin Burns and Nicole Bolton have missed out.

“[McGrath has] been a consistent performer over the last few seasons with bat and ball, including the five matches she played for Australia during the 2017 Ashes series,” women’s national selector Shawn Flegler said. “With Tayla and Ellyse Perry coming back from long-term injuries, Tahlia will add extra depth to our allrounders, especially with her bowling. “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 [the ODI tournament in New Zealand in early 2021].”

Players who are not awarded contracts as part of the initial squad can earn upgrades throughout the year by accruing 12 upgrade points, with Tests worth five points, ODIs two points and T20s one point for men, and Tests worth four points and ODIs and T20s two each for women.

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

CA WOMEN’S CONTRACT LIST: 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.