The all-conquering New South Wales and Australian bowling quartet of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon highlight the Cricket Australia national contracts announced on Wednesday.

NSW has the second most representatives on the 2018-19 list of 20 nationally contracted players, two behind Western Australia, which has six players named.

National Selector Trevor Hohns said the contracts were awarded based on player performances over the last 12 months and who may be able to represent Australian teams in the upcoming year.

“This period is set to include a significant amount of limited-overs cricket, including the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales,” Hohns said.

“For that reason, there has been a bit of a focus in this contracting period on white-ball cricket, as we look ahead to trying to win back-to-back World Cups.”

All four of the Blues awarded contracts were integral to the Ashes success of the Australian men’s team during the 2017-18 summer. Each bowler took more than 20 wickets across the five Test series.

Cummins was the leading wicket-taker throughout that series. The quick claimed 23 wickets at an average of 24.65. Starc collected 22 scalps at 23.54, while the persistent line and length of Hazlewood and off-spin of Lyon each returned 21 dismissals.

The potent pace and consistency of Cummins also saw him complete the recent four Test series in South Africa as the leading wicket taker for Australia.

His tally of 22 dismissals for the series at 21.45 was just one scalp behind leading wicket taker for the series South African spearhead Kagiso Rabada.

Cummins is now rated the equal sixth best bowler in the world according to the ICC Test Championship rankings.

Hazlewood is number three on the ICC list of the best One Day International bowlers.

Despite only playing two matches during the Blues’ Sheffield Shield campaign, Starc starred for NSW. Among his outstanding performances included a pair of hat tricks against Western Australia at Hurstville Oval in round two.

He became the first player in the history of the Sheffield Shield to achieve that feat.

This performance followed a brilliant fast bowling display against South Australia in round one at the Adelaide Oval, where the left-arm quick claimed 10 wickets for the match including 8-73 in the second innings.

Starc collected 17 scalps at the remarkable average of 12.7 during his two matches. Lyon was also impressive in the four games he played. He claimed 13 wickets at 21.76. 

Lyon was also a valuable addition to the NSW JLT One Day Cup squad in September and October. He returned nine wickets at 27.22 in that tournament.

The contracts for Steve Smith and David Warner were not renewed by Cricket Australia.

 

Players not awarded contracts as part of the initial squad of 20 can earn upgrades throughout the year by accruing 12 upgrade points. Players receive five points for a Test, two for an ODI and one for a T20I.

 

Male Contracted Player List 2018-19

Player

State

Age

Ashton Agar

WA

24

Alex Carey

SA

26

Pat Cummins

NSW

24

Aaron Finch

VIC

31

Peter Handscomb

VIC

26

Josh Hazlewood

NSW

27

Travis Head

SA

24

Usman Khawaja

QLD

31

Nathan Lyon

NSW

30

Glenn Maxwell

VIC

29

Shaun Marsh

WA

34

Mitchell Marsh

WA

26

Tim Paine

TAS

33

Matthew Renshaw

QLD

22

Jhye Richardson

WA

21

Kane Richardson

SA

27

Billy Stanlake

QLD

23

Mitchell Starc

NSW

28

Marcus Stoinis

WA

28

Andrew Tye

WA

31