Usman Khawaja and Marcus Stoinis lose Cricket Australia contracts
Usman Khawaja and Marcus Stoinis have lost their Cricket Australia contracts after falling out of favour with the national selectors over the past 12 months, leaving both with a particularly steep battle to return to international cricket whenever it resumes after the coronavirus pandemic.
Alongside Nathan Coulter-Nile, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Shaun Marsh, Ashton Turner and the retired Peter Siddle, Stoinis and Khawaja were broadly expected to be missing when the list was announced on Thursday, but their absence for the first time in some years underlined how far they have fallen in the eyes of the national team coach Justin Langer and the selection chairman Trevor Hohns – himself currently out of contract.
Both were considered central figures in the national team as recently as last year’s World Cup in England. Stoinis endured a poor tournament, did not play another international and was used in a very different role, as a non-bowling opening batsman, by the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League last summer. Khawaja’s absence from the Cup semi-final loss to England was described as crucial by Langer, but he too fell from prominence in a difficult Ashes series for batsmen, losing his No. 3 spot to Marnus Labuschagne by the end of the series.
Labuschagne’s first full CA contract represents his own rapid rise as one of Australia’s most reliable batsmen, with Ashton Agar, Joe Burns, Mitchell Marsh, Kane Richardson and Matthew Wade also receiving call-ups after being upgraded from state deals to incremental central contracts over the preceding year.
Contracted players are believed to have been advised they have earned their contracts in writing, but are yet to find out what their ranking is or what their contract retainer amount will be. CA remains locked in discussions with the Australian Cricketers Association and the states over financial changes devised to prepare for the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.