Prior, Onions, Swann get ECB central contracts

Updated: 11 September 2009 12:16 IST

The England and Wales Cricket Board gave central contracts to Matthew Prior, Graham Onions and Graeme Swann for the first time on Friday.

London:

The England and Wales Cricket Board gave central contracts to Matthew Prior, Graham Onions and Graeme Swann for the first time on Friday.

The trio played a key part in England's win over Australia in the Ashes series and are among 11 players to be awarded a 12-month contract.

Only captain Andrew Strauss scored more Ashes runs than Prior, who is the only wicketkeeper on the list, while Onions took 10 wickets and Swann has usurped Monty Panesar as England's first-choice spinner after taking 48 wickets in his 12 Tests.

"Central contracts are designed to reward players who perform well consistently for England," national selector Geoff Miller said. "All three have made a very significant contribution to the team's recent success in regaining the Ashes and beating West Indies at home in both Test and one-day series."

Panesar and pace bowler Steve Harmison did not even get one of the seven incremental contracts, although Andrew Flintoff took one of the second-tier deals following his retirement from Test cricket.

"Andrew Flintoff is no longer eligible for a 12-month central contract," Miller said. "The decision to award an incremental contract to Andrew reflects our view that he will still have an important role to play in our one-day side going forward."

Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen, Ryan Sidebottom and Strauss were the other players on the central list.

Jonathan Trott joined Flintoff, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Adil Rashid, Owais Shah, and Luke Wright on the incremental list after he hit a debut century in the series-clinching win over Australia at The Oval.

"The award of incremental contracts to Tim Bresnan, Adil Rashid and Jonathan Trott for the first time is in recognition of the excellent start they have all made to their international careers and their potential to develop still further as cricketers over the next 12 months," Miller said.

Contracted England players:

Central: James Anderson, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Alastair Cook, Graham Onions, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior, Ryan Sidebottom, Andrew Strauss and Graeme Swann. Incremental: Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Andrew Flintoff, Adil Rashid, Owais Shah, Jonathan Trott and Luke Wright.

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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