Melbourne:Australian selectors will have to make a difficult decision whether to include struggling opener Matthew Hayden among the 25 players to be awarded contracts for the 2009-10 season, in April.
Hayden, sitting on a disappointing season, is keen to play in the Ashes series in December but that is possible only if selectors award him a contract.
The piquant situation here still is that if Hayden retires after the Ashes, a rookie player misses out on a contract, as it cannot be replaced.
"If selectors felt he was the best man for the tour, he would be given a contract and payment would cease on his retirement," Sydney Morning Herald said in a report.
The Australian selectors will meet all the players - contracted and prospective - next month to let them know what future awaits for them.
37-year-old Hayden has been left out Australia's Twenty20 and ODI squads to play against South Africa following a poor run of form in the series against India, New Zealand and South Africa. But he remained adamant that he would decide his own Test future and should not be pushed to retirement.