Slater, Blewett, Fleming among ACB contract losers

Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney: Former Test players Michael Slater, Greg Blewett, Damien Fleming, Colin Miller and Simon Katich lost out when the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) announced its new list of contracted players on Wednesday.

But out-of-favour senior batsman Mark Waugh kept his contract despite speculation that he may be dropped for the tour of Pakistan in September. ACB chief executive James Sutherland announced the national selection panel had chosen 25 players to be contracted by the board for the next 12 months. Slater's omission was expected after his dumping from the Australian side in England last year and his subsequent struggles with New South Wales (NSW). Blewett did not represent Australia in the past 12 months but scored heavily in domestic competitions for South Australia. Katich, once touted as a likely successor to Mark Waugh at number four in the Australia batting line-up, made his Test debut for Australia in the fourth Ashes Test against England, but performed poorly for Western Australia last season. Fleming and Miller, both nearing retirement, were not expected to be selected again. Steve Waugh, who was axed as national One-day captain for the recent series in South Africa and was replaced by Ricky Ponting, was also on the list. Fast bowler Stuart Clark was given his first ACB contract after a good season with NSW, taking 45 wickets at 23.26 in the Sheffield Shield. Queensland trio Andy Bichel, Nathan Hauritz and Jimmy Maher, Tasmania's Shane Watson and WA's Brad Williams - all of whom were added to the list of contracted players during the 2001- 02 season - had their contracts renewed. Under a formula agreed with the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA), the minimum amount for the base retainer offered to the lowest-ranked contracted player is A$ 110,000 ($ 59,850), up A$ 15,000 ($8,200) from last year. The highest ranked player will receive a base retainer of around A$ 440,000 ($ 239,360). ACB contracted players for 2002/03: Michael Bevan, Andrew Bichel, Nathan Bracken, Stuart Clark, Adam Gilchrist, Jason Gillespie, Ian Harvey, Nathan Hauritz, Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, Justin Langer, Brett Lee, Darren Lehmann, Martin Love, Stuart MacGill, Glenn McGrath, Jimmy Maher, Damien Martyn, Ricky Ponting, Andrew Symonds, Shane Warne, Shane Watson, Mark Waugh, Stephen Waugh and Brad Williams.

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