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England central contracts 2021/22: The winners and losers

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

The ECB announced the 2021/22 central contracts list for the England men’s side on Friday, with the structure of the scheme revamped.

No longer is there a separation of red- and white-ball central contracts; there is simply one list of 20 annual central contracts, with the make-up based on the likelihood of players featuring for England across the next year.

Additionally, four players have been put on incremental contracts, with three other players on pace-bowling developmental contracts.

Here is a look at the winners and losers from the announcement of the new contracts.


Ollie Robinson

After a sparkling start to his Test career, Ollie Robinson’s status as one of England’s key pace options has been underlined with a central contract. Twenty-eight wickets this summer at a lowly average of 19.60 makes the decision rather unsurprising.

Dawid Malan

Despite climbing to the top of the ICC’s T20I batting rankings last year, Malan had to make do with an incremental contract. Now, after being reintroduced into the Test set-up, he can celebrate being a centrally-contracted cricketer. With only Jonny Bairstow and Sam Curran having played more matches for England in 2021, Malan is fast-becoming a more regular face across all three forms and stands as the incumbent No.3 for the upcoming World Cup and Ashes series.

Jack Leach

Unlike Robinson and Malan, Leach’s ascension onto the central contracts list comes after a relatively uneventful summer. He didn’t play a single Test match at home as England first opted against a specialist spinner before Moeen Ali was reintroduced as an all-rounder who could balance the side at No.7 in the absence of Ben Stokes. Moeen’s retirement, however, appears to have paved the way for Leach to become England’s first-choice spinner once more – whether they opt to pick one in their XI is another question.

Zak Crawley

Crawley has averaged 11.14 with the bat in seven Tests this year, and eventually lost his place after the first Test against India at Trent Bridge. Yet, still regarded as one of the brightest batting talents in the country, he’s kept his central contract, indicating that he remains a firm part of England’s short-term plans.


Dom Sibley

Like Crawley, Sibley has enjoyed a poor 2021 in the Test arena, averaging 19.77 after 10 matches. Unlike Crawley, he’s lost his contract as a result.

Haseeb Hameed

Nonetheless, the man who replaced Sibley at the top of the order against India in the summer isn’t on the list either. Hameed showed glimpses of his talent upon his Test return, notching two half-centuries in three Tests, but it appears a stronger case will have to be made for him to land an England contract.

Tom Curran

Away from the Test side of things, Tom Curran has suffered a contractual demotion; having landed a white-ball central contract last year, the 26-year-old has returned to an incremental deal. Six T20Is in the last 12 months have seen Curran take five wickets at 42.20 and an economy rate of above 10, while four ODIs have led to six wickets at 37.33.


England’s central contracts list for 2021/22

Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan, Ollie Pope, Adil Rashid, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

Increment contracts

Dom Bess, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone

Pace-bowling development contracts

Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Olly Stone


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