Cricket Australia to review its outdated system for awarding national contracts

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Melbourne, Apr 2 (ANI): Cricket Australia has pledged to review its outdated system for awarding national contracts to reflect the growth of Twenty20 and the changing priorities of international cricketers, as reports indicate that ace pacer Brett Lee will take a pay cut and T20 specialist David Warner might miss out on the contract.

The selectors meet this weekend to finalise the list of 25 players who will be offered CA contracts.

General manager of cricket operations Michael Brown acknowledged the need to bring the ranking system into the Twenty20 age.

At present it works against players such as Warner, who will be one of the first men picked in Australia's quest for World Twenty20 redemption in the Caribbean this month but he is unlikely to secure a high enough ranking for a contract, The Age reports.

Chairman Andrew Hilditch and his fellow selectors are instructed to rank the top 20 Test players and the top 20 limited-overs players in compiling the list of 25.

Test players are given a weighting of 1.25 ranking points, but there are no such guidelines for determining the worth of Twenty20 specialists within the limited-overs ranking, other than the selectors using their discretion to weigh up performances over the past 12 months and priorities for the coming year.

"Interestingly, because this contract period starts on July 1, there is more focus on one-day cricket because we play a [50-over] World Cup and we play about four ODIs for every Twenty20, so you've got to keep that in your calculations," Brown said.

"This system is not perfect. It was designed 15 years ago. I think it is a good time now, in the next 12 months as we lead into the next MOU [memorandum of understanding], to review the process. The game has changed, another format has come along, let's get everybody in the tent and look at the examples that has thrown up," he said.

Lee's place in the pecking order will suffer because of his recent decision to retire from Test cricket, although the fast bowling star's inclusion in the 15-man squad for the World Twenty20, and the strong one-day form, suggests he will retain a limited-overs ranking and be offered a reduced contract. (ANI)

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