Two key Australian players lose central contracts

Cricket Australia released the 23-man central contracts list on Thursday

Two key Australian players lose central contracts PHOTO: AFP

All-rounder Marcus Stoinis and spinner Ashton Agar have been excluded from Australia's contracts list for the 2024/25 season due to their diminished favor with selectors. 

Stoinis lost his place in Australia's ODI team to Marnus Labuschagne during the World Cup in India and has not been part of the team since then, while Agar has only played one international match in the past year. 

The pair from Western Australia were omitted from the 23-man central contracts list released on Thursday, along with test opener Marcus Harris, paceman Michael Neser, and the retired David Warner.

The yearly contracts list provides an overview of the hierarchy in Australian cricket as a new season begins, although players may ascend based on their performance throughout the season. 

Queensland's fast bowler Xavier Bartlett is the only addition to the list, recognized for his outstanding performance during his debut ODI series against West Indies and his T20I debut against the same team in February.

Nathan Ellis, a fast bowler from Tasmania, Aaron Hardie, an all-rounder from Western Australia, and white-ball batter Matt Short were kept on the contracts list after being promoted during the previous season. 

"Matt, Aaron and Xavier have been extremely impressive in the early stages of their international careers," said chief selector George Bailey.

"The panel believes they have strong futures and are deserved of their contracts as they work towards striving to become regulars in the Australian setup."

Australia, the reigning ODI and world Test champions, will aim for their second T20 World Cup title in the United States and the Caribbean, with the tournament set to begin in June.