Panesar, Cook added to ECB contract list

Published: Thursday, September 21, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London: Spin wizard Monty Panesar and opener Alastair Cook were rewarded for their match-winning performances this year as the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) offered them six-figure central contracts along with injured warhorses Michael Vaughan and Simon Jones.

However, wicket-keepers Geraint Jones and Chris Read were absent from the 13-player list as the ECB decided against offering contracts to any of the glovemen.

The 12-month contracts are worth 130,000 pound and the players are likely to earn as much as 350,000 pound per annum once the match fee in both Test and ODI cricket is added to the sum.

''A total of 13 players had been awarded England 12-month central contracts until the end of the 2007 domestic international season,'' the ECB said in a statement here.

Cook and Panesar won contracts for the first time following impressive performances in this summer's Npower Test series against Sri Lanka and Pakistan and on last winter's tour of India.

''This is the largest number of England 12-month Central Contracts awarded thus far and reflects the excellent progress made by younger players such as Alastair Cook and Monty Panesar,'' Chairman of Selectors David Graveney said while commenting on the decision.

''The selectors were also keen to demonstrate our support and faith in those players who are currently recovering from long-term injuries but remain an important part of our plans as we prepare for an intensive programme of international cricket in both forms of the game over the next 12 months,'' he added on the ECB's decision to award contracts to injured players, including Ashley Giles.

The trio of Vaughan, Jones and Giles has been ruled out of the Ashes series in November but will be traveling with the team as they attempt to regain fitness after long injury layoffs.

The ECB's International Teams Group, meanwhile, has concluded that no one wicket-keeper meets the criteria for the award of an England 12-month Central Contract.

''The selectors can, of course, award Summer Contracts to individual players from next April if we feel that performances on overseas tours merit this and I am sure that both Chris Read and Geraint Jones will be competing hard to demonstrate their value to the team this winter,'' Mr Graveney said.

The contracted players: Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Alastair Cook, Ashley Giles, Andrew Flintoff, Steve Harmison, Matthew Hoggard, Simon Jones, Kevin Pietersen, Monty Panesar, Andrew Strauss, Marcus Trescothick, Michael Vaughan

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