Victorian tearaway James Pattinson and returning duo Steve Smith and David Warner have all been named on Cricket Australia's 20-player list of centrally contracted men's cricketers for 2019-20, as Australia look to defend both the World Cup and Ashes across a massive northern summer.
Smith and Warner, who were each suspended for 12 months in March 2018 for their involvement in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa, were also today named as part of Australia's 15-man World Cup squad.
2019-20 CA men's contracts: Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Alex Carey, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, James Pattinson, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa
"We believe the 2019-20 contract list provides us with a versatile group of players who can represent Australia across all three formats over the contract period," said chairman of the national selection panel, Trevor Hohns.
"Our key criteria focused on selecting a pool of players who are going to help us in our ambition to win the upcoming World Cup and Ashes Series in England, and who can also play the various formats over the course of the Australian summer."
Aside from the former leadership duo, the return of Pattinson to the contract list is a major talking point, with the Victorian quick having battled back from serious back surgery at the end of 2017 to now loom as a potential Ashes game-breaker.
Pattinson earns a contract ahead of a glut of fast-bowling Test hopefuls led by his state teammates Peter Siddle and Chris Tremain, both of whom will be in action in the UK in the build-up to the Ashes; Siddle with County Championship side Essex, and Tremain with Australia A's four-day side, which was also announced today.
Here's the Aussie squad out to defend their World Cup title! More HERE: https://t.co/hDu02GtIWF #CWC19 pic.twitter.com/iRzjLWNGeZ— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) April 15, 2019
In a sign of the growing recognition of multi-format players – as well as the return of Smith and Warner to the fold – incumbent Test batting trio Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne and Kurtis Patterson were all overlooked for contracts.
Mitchell Marsh and Ashton Agar are the most notable omissions from those on the original 2018-19 CA contract list, with the Western Australian duo suffering quite dramatic falls from grace across the past nine months under the new leadership of head men's national coach Justin Langer.
Matthew Renshaw, Kane Richardson, Billy Stanlake and Andrew Tye also did not retain their CA central contracts.
Qantas Ashes Tour of the UK 2019
Tour match: Australia v Australia A, Hampshire, July 23-26
First Test: August 1-5 at Edgbaston, Birmingham
Tour match: Australia v Worcestershire, August 7-9
Second Test: August 14-18 at Lord's, London
Third Test: August 22-26 at Headingley, Leeds
Tour match: Australia v Derbyshire, August 29-31
Fourth Test: September 4-8 at Old Trafford, Manchester
Fifth Test: September 12-16 at The Oval, London