Omitted players offered hope
Recently-capped duo Chadd Sayers and Jackson Bird have been told they can win their way back into the international fold despite missing out on Australian central contracts.
The seam-bowling pair have featured in Test cricket for Australia in the last five months - Sayers in South Africa recently and Bird in the Ashes - yet did not make the list of 20 players announced by Cricket Australia earlier this week.
However, Australia's chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns used the examples of Test captain Tim Paine and veteran batsman Shaun Marsh, who both earned upgraded contacts during 2016/17 before returning to the centrally-contracted group.
Players not awarded CA contracts as part of the initial squad can earn upgrades throughout the year by accruing 12 upgrade points. Players receive five points for a Test, two for an ODI and one for a T20I.
"Jackson and Chadd have missed out on this occasion, but they remain in the frame for Australian honours moving forward and can be upgraded if selected," Hohns said.
Injured fast bowlers James Pattinson and Nathan Coulter-Nile also missed out.
"We would like to see both James and Nathan now put some consistent games together for their states," Hohns added.
"They are both quality fast bowlers and we have no doubt that, if they can play regularly and remain fit in the upcoming season, they will become very positive selection options for us."
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