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Stoinis, Harris, Neser, Agar Miss Out As Australia Announce Annual Contracts

Cricket Australia announced the list of contracted players for 2024-25,

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Cricket Australia on Thursday announced a 23-man group of centrally contracted men's players for 2024-25 with veteran all-rounder Marcus Stoinis, spinner Ashton Agar along with opener Marcus Harris, seamer Michael Neser as the four big omissions from the list.

Stoinis has battled back injuries in recent times and missed Australia's T20 tour of New Zealand last month with a back injury. But he made a comeback for Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in the IPL 2024 opener under coach Justin Langer, batting at No.7 and not bowling, scoring three runs.

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Agar, meanwhile, hasn't played international cricket since last September's first ODI against South Africa where he picked up a calf injury during a match-winning partnership with Marnus Labuschagne.

Veteran opener David Warner doesn't make the cut as he has announced his retirement from international cricket following the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

All-rounders Matt Short and Aaron Hardie and fast bowler Nathan Ellis got new deals after they were upgraded to the contract list. Young right-armer Xavier Bartlett also wins a full-time contract after impressing with the ball against the West Indies earlier this year.

Short made his T20 debut against South Africa last year, playing nine T20 internationals and four ODIs. Similarly, Hardie made his Australian debut in the same game in Durban, playing seven T20Is and four ODIS.

Bartlett has impressed in the Big Bash League and for Queensland, winning a call-up to the Australian T20 and ODI sides which played the West Indies earlier this year. He starred in Melbourne with 4-17 on debut, then backed it up in Canberra with 4-21.

Men's Chair of National Selectors George Bailey said, "Matt, Aaron and Xavier have been extremely impressive in the early stages of their international careers. Their performances and the way they have embraced the international stage has been exciting to watch.

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“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."

Bailey, however, said that Stoinis, Agar and Neser remain in the frame for national selection and are still in the mix to play a part in Australia's T20 World Cup tilt in June despite losing their national contracts for next year.

"We will come together at the end of April to put a squad together for that and both 'Stoin' and Ash Agar will be firmly in the mix for the squad," said Bailey.

Cricket Australia contracted men's players 2024-25: Sean Abbott, Xavier Barlett, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Aaron Hardie, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Lance Morris, Todd Murphy, Jhye Richardson, Matt Short, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa

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