Six new boys awarded ECB central contracts

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The ECB have announced that six players have been awarded central contracts for the first time in their England careers, with five of them making their Test debuts within the last 12 months.

Five players have also lost their status for the 2014-15 campaign with Tim Bresnan, Jonathan Trott and Matt Prior joining Graeme Swann and Kevin Pietersen in losing their contract with the ECB.

The new list doesn’t spring any real surprises with the likes of Gary Ballance, Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali rewarded for their fine summer in wearing the Three Lions. Ben Stokes, Chris Jordan and Chris Woakes are the other new boys in the 12-man list which is headed up by England Test and one-day captain Alastair Cook.

Ballance and Moeen are arguably the finds of the summer with both of them playing in all seven Tests against Sri Lanka and India. The Yorkshire top order batsman has slotted in to replace Trott without any transitional period while the 27-year-old Worcestershire all-rounder has grown into the role as the nation’s front-line spinner.

Meanwhile, Buttler has continued to impress in the shorter formats of the game, including a scintillating century against Sri Lanka at Lord’s but it is his performances in the Test arena that have guaranteed a debut central contract. He scored 85 on debut against India at the Ageas Bowl and currently averages over 66 with the bat whilst being a safe pair of hands behind the stumps.

Ravi Bopara, Alex Hales, Eoin Morgan, Liam Plunkett and James Tredwell are well in the thoughts of the England selectors with them all receiving an incremental contract for the next 12 months with them all set to play a part in the World Cup early next year.

The full list of centrally contracted players for 2014-15:

Moeen Ali (Worcestershire)

James Anderson (Lancashire)

Gary Ballance (Yorkshire)

Ian Bell (Warwickshire)

Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)

Jos Buttler (Lancashire)

Alastair Cook (Essex)

Steven Finn (Middlesex)

Chris Jordan (Sussex)

Joe Root (Yorkshire)

Ben Stokes (Durham)

Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)

The list for the five incrementally contracted players:

Ravi Bopara (Essex)

Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire)

Eoin Morgan (Middlesex)

Liam Plunkett (Yorkshire)

James Tredwell (Kent)

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