England: ECB central contracts awarded to Dawid Malan, Ollie Robinson, and Jack Leach
For the first time, England has given core contracts to batter Dawid Malan, seamer Ollie Robinson, and spinner Jack Leach.
Despite taking an indefinite hiatus to work on his mental health, all-rounder Ben Stokes keeps his, but opener Dom Sibley, who was axed from the Test team this summer, loses his. From October 1, 2021, the existing test and limited-overs contracts will be replaced by “single” contracts for 20 players that will cover all forms and run for a year.
Despite being dropped after the second Test against India, batsman Zak Crawley keeps his central contract, while all-rounder Moeen Ali, who was given a white-ball contract last year and retired from Test cricket last month, has been given a central deal.
After being recalled to the Test side against India, Malan, the world’s top-ranked T20 batsman who was handed an incremental contract last year, scored scores of 70, 31 and five. Robinson scored 7-42 on his Test debut against New Zealand in June, but was then banned for eight matches, five of which were suspended, for racist and sexist statements from the past. He returned against India, and in five Tests, he had 28 wickets at an average of 19.60.
Somerset left-arm spinner Leach, who was on a one-year agreement, did not appear in any of England’s six summer Tests.
Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, and Olly Stone have been given fast bowling development contracts for “developing and managing high-potential pace bowlers across all formats.”
From October 17 to November 14, England, which have played more cricket than any other international team since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, will compete in the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. The Ashes series in Australia is set to begin on December 8, but it is possible that it may be postponed because of the coronavirus restrictions imposed on England players and their families.
In 2022, England will tour the West Indies and will host New Zealand, India, and South Africa in addition to playing three one-day internationals in the Netherlands.