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Bairstow loses Check deal as England glance to long term | Game

Jonny Bairstow (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)


Jonny Bairstow (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

England wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow has lost his Test central
contract but Ollie Pope, Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley have been added to
the red-ball retainer list announced by cricket chiefs on Wednesday.

The
move by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) was not unexpected as
Bairstow, 31, has played just one of the past 12 Test matches since the
2019 Ashes.

The World Cup winner has been handed a specialist
limited-overs deal, with Pope, Crawley and Sibley all promoted after
scoring their maiden Test centuries over the past year.

England
managing director Ashley Giles said he hoped Bairstow, who has played 70
Tests, scoring six centuries, would stay hungry to play a role in
English Test cricket.

“It’s a knock for him, I’m sure,” he said.
“Jonny’s played one Test match in a year. We only have so many contracts
that we award and it’s a tough call to make because Jonny’s been a very
good servant for the team.”

Giles said the contracts for the three young batsmen showed England’s top-order was “starting to function”.

“When
I came into post about 18 months ago, one of my aims was to have a
bigger group of players capable of playing at the highest level and I
guess this is a demonstration of that – three fine players,” he said.

Fast
bowler Mark Wood, thought to be a key part of England’s plans to retain
the Ashes, has also been named in the white-ball only list. There are a
dozen names in each group, with just five – Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos
Buttler, Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes – appearing in both.

Pay cuts?

On
the 2019/2020 terms, red-ball deals were understood to be worth around
£650 000 before bonuses, with white-ball contracts worth about
£275 000, but the financial impact of the coronavirus means there is
uncertainty over this year’s payments.

The ECB estimates the
pandemic has already cost £100 million, with further losses likely, and
is currently undergoing a round of redundancies.

Giles was asked during a press conference whether it was inevitable that players would have to take a pay cut.

“If
our revenues are decreasing, if pay was to stay the same, then clearly
it would squeeze other areas so it’s about all of us doing our part
across the business,” he said.

Giles added: “Although the players
have been in a bubble for the majority of the summer, they are not blind
to the reality of what’s going on out in the world and I think they
understand they have to play a part in that.”

England are due to travel to South Africa, Sri Lanka and India in the coming months.

Giles
said he was confident the tours would take place but that it was
important to remain “flexible and agile” due to the global uncertainty.

England contracts for 2020/21:

Test and white-ball: Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes

Test only: James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Sam Curran

White-ball only: Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Tom Curran, Eoin Morgan, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Mark Wood.

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