Six new players given central contracts

Ballance was rewarded with a central contract for his outstanding performance during the summer

Ballance was rewarded with a central contract for his outstanding performance this summer

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Six new England players have been given central contracts for the 2014-15 season.

During the past 12 months, England brought in a number of fresh faces and it resulted in Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler, Gary Ballance, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan being awarded with central contracts.

Interestingly enough, pace bowler Steven Finn was given a contract as well, despite barely having represented the national team over the past year.

However, one interesting omission from the list of centrally contracted players is opening batsman Sam Robson, who put up a solid performance in his debut series against Sri Lanka, but failed to impress in the recent Test series against India.

Robson is expected to face serious competition from Yorkshire opener Adam Lyth, who has been absolutely unstoppable during this year’s County season.

It was also announced that Alex Hales, Ravi Bopara, Liam Plunkett, James Tredwell and Eoin Morgan have been awarded increment contracts.

There are also a few big names that have not been given central contracts, and they include: Graeme Swann, who retired from all forms of cricket in December, Kevin Pietersen, who had his previous central contract terminated, Matt Prior, who underwent surgery on his troublesome Achilles just a few days ago, Jonathan Trott, who is working his way back into the national team after suffering from a stress-related illness, and Tim Bresnan, who has failed to cement a permanent place for himself in the side.

“The awarding of contracts enables the selectors and team management to plan for the next 12 months of international cricket,” England national selector James Whitaker said. “We have been hugely encouraged by the rapid development of a host of younger players in the last year and this is reflected in a total of six players being awarded 12-month central contracts for the first time.”

England central contracts: Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Alastair Cook, Steven Finn, Chris Jordan, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes

England increment contracts: Ravi Bopara, Alex Hales, Eoin Morgan, Liam Plunkett, James Tredwell

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