England to RIP UP central contracts system distinguishing between red and white-ball deals… allowing coach Chris Silverwood a bigger pool of up to 25 players to select from in all formats
- Sportsmail understands up to 25 central contracts will be awarded this month
- England’s Test and one-day players will therefore be banded together
- It is a move towards Australian system giving senior players multi-format deal
- The change has been welcomed by Chris Silverwood, who is hoping for clarity
England are set to scrap the distinction between red and white-ball central contracts next season as part of a major overhaul that will give coach Chris Silverwood a bigger pool of contracted players to choose from in both formats.
Sportsmail understands up to 25 central contracts are set to be awarded later this month with England’s Test and one-day players banded together, though that total will also include several incremental and development contracts given to younger players on much reduced terms.
The ECB handed out 19 central contracts last year, with 12 each awarded in red and white-ball cricket and five players receiving contracts in both formats, but will now move towards the Australian system which gives all senior players a multi-format deal.
England are set to scrap their central contract system to give Chris Silverwood a bigger pool of contracted players to choose from in both formats
The dual contract system was introduced as part of the ECB’s successful attempt to prioritise one-day cricket ahead of the 2019 World Cup
The change has been welcomed by Silverwood, who is hoping the new system will bring more clarity to selection and create greater unity within the squad.
The dual contract system was introduced by the ECB five years ago as part of their attempt to prioritise one-day cricket ahead of the 2019 World Cup.
But although that proved successful, as Eoin Morgan’s side lifted the trophy at Lord’s, the increased volume of cricket and impact of Covid-19 means the arrangement is no longer fit for purpose.
Jonny Bairstow (R) and Mark Wood (L) played eight and five Tests this year to date despite only having white-ball contracts
With the ECB introducing a rest and rotation policy to mitigate against the effects of the pandemic, Silverwood has increasingly been forced to select players for Test cricket who are not centrally contracted for the longest form of the game — with Jonny Bairstow, Jack Leach and Mark Wood playing eight, six and five Tests this year to date despite only having white-ball contracts.
The change should also lead to greater financial parity between England’s Test and one-day players — in contrast to the current system, under which the basic red-ball contracts are worth £650,000 a year compared to £250,000 for the shorter format.
Although the precise terms have yet to be finalised, there is unlikely to be a repeat of last year’s financial retrenchment, which saw all of England’s players take a 15 per cent pay cut.
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