The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced the central contracts for the men’s cricket team for the 2021-22 season on Friday, October 8. Ben Stokes, who has been on a break for an indefinite period, has been included in the contract. England’s star pacer Jofra Archer has also made it to the 20 member list.
Jack Leach, Yorkshire batsman Dawid Malan, and Sussex seamer Ollie Robinson have received their maiden central contract. Dom Bess, along with Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, and all-rounder Liam Livingstone have received an increment contract. Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, and Olly Stone, on the other hand, have been awarded the pace bowling development contracts.
The ECB has announced central retainers under a new system wherein there is no differentiation between red-ball and white-ball specialists. The previous model allotted separate contracts to Test and white ball players. However, now under this new system, twenty annual contracts have been awarded on a single contract list.
“The new system has been developed working in consultation with the players, Team England Player Partnership (TEPP) and the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA). It is designed to meet England’s future needs in what has become a fluid and dynamic landscape. The system considers the likelihood of players featuring in England teams across formats in the next 12 months whilst also recognizing performances in the preceding year.
Considerations were also agreed against a busy international schedule, made challenging by additional COVID-related constraints and taking into account the mental wellbeing and welfare of the players. In addition to the 20 Central Contracts, awards have been made for Increment Contracts and Pace Bowling Development Contracts. This structure recognizes players that may feature for England on a less predictable basis and supports developing and managing high potential pace bowlers across all formats,” ECB’s statement read.