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Warner Excluded, Four Fresh Faces Included As Cricket Australia Announces Central Contracts

Xavier Bartlett has been handed a central contract by CA [X.com]Xavier Bartlett has been handed a central contract by CA [X.com]

Cricket Australia (CA) on Thursday (March 28) confirmed the influx of four fresh faces in their central contracts list for men's 2024-25 international season, with young pace pairing of Xavier Bartlett and Nathan Ellis as well as extravagant powerhitter Matthew Short and backup allrounder Aaron Hardie entering the extended 23-member list. 

Bartlett and Ellis, who are considered the best of Australia's future fast-bowling prospects, have been handed a central contract for the first time alongside Hardie and Short for the period starting with the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 in June. 

All four strong domestic and Big Bash League (BBL) performers are capped internationally and remain integral to the plans prepared by chief selector George Bailey in discussions with skippers Pat Cummins and Mitchell Marsh. 

Fresh Faces In Australia's Central Contract List 

While Bartlett has been fast-tracked into the reckoning, Ellis, Short and Hardie have earned upgrades in the set-up and will be required especially for the white-ball section of the season coming up where Australia play limited-overs series in England and at home against Pakistan. 

Of the quartet, Short and Hardie made their international debuts during last year's T20I series in South Africa while Bartlett kickstarted his jourey for Australia via the home limited-overs assignment against the West Indies in February. 

Ellis, the most experienced among the four, featured quite heavily on tours to South Africa, India and New Zealand in the preceding season. 

The selectors have ousted Western Australia allrounders Marcus Stoinis and Ashton Agar as well as Victoria opener Marcus Harris, Queensland quick Michael Neser and also David Warner, who is set to retire from all internationals at the end of June. 

The period will be headlined by the marquee Border-Gavaskar Trophy with five Tests scheduled against arch-rivals India from November-January. 

Australia are also due to travel to Sri Lanka for another pair of World Test Championship (WTC) games on its way to the tournament finale next June. 

CA central contracts list 2024-25

Sean Abbott, Xavier Bartlett, 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.