On Thursday (April 30th), Cricket Australia announced the list of centrally contracted players for the upcoming year. The inevitable ones, who got the contracts were Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, David Warner, Ashton Agar, Tim Paine, and so on. With the upcoming T20 World Cup in sight, there existed a number of short-format specialists.
Clarke was baffled at the news of the flamboyant left-hander not receiving a contract. The World Cup-winning captain found it hard to believe that with the experience and talent the veteran has, Cricket Australia denied him a spot among the 20 contracted cricketers. Selector Trevor Hohns also claimed that Khawaja’s exclusion was one of the toughest decisions. All-rounder Marcus Stoinis was one more popular figure, who failed to make it.
The Pakistani-born batsman made it to Australia’s 2019 World Cup squad on the back of some heavy run-scoring. The southpaw missed out on playing the semi-final against England due to injury, which Justin Langer viewed as crucial. However, he returned for the Ashes series later.
At the same time, Michael Clarke remains confident that there isn’t anything personal on the coach’s part to refuse him a contract. The reason the angle is looked at since Khawaja has had his clashes with Langer in the Australian documentary series. The duo had some disagreements with concerns about the approach in batting while Australia was playing Pakistan in the UAE.
“I find it very hard to believe that someone with the talent and the runs behind him over ten years isn’t in Australia’s top 20 players,” Clarke stated.
“I would like to think it’s nothing personal. I don’t think JL is like that.” Michael Clarke mentioned.