Matthew Renshaw’s Ashes hopes in shambles as Marcus Harris lands deal with Cricket Australia

Under International Cricket Council regulations, Australia may nominate a squad of no more than 15 people for the World Test Championship Final, but additional players will be available for at least the first two Ashes Tests. Some hopefuls will also play county cricket.

Bailey pointed out that the contract list covered all three formats, not just Test cricket, with Warner as part of the 50-over World Cup in India in October and November and the Twenty20 World Cup in the US and West Indies next year.

Matthew Renshaw failed in India and was overlooked for a contract at Cricket Australia.

Matthew Renshaw failed in India and was overlooked for a contract at Cricket Australia.Credit:Getty Images

With Warner and his Test opening partner Usman Khawaja, both 36, Bailey suggested Harris, Renshaw and Bancroft could all be needed in the not too distant future.

“There’s no doubt, and not to be rude to Usman or Dave, these two are probably at the end of their careers rather than the beginning, so we need some depth,” Bailey said. “We’re going to need all three of these guys who are performing really well for us and hopefully they make our decisions incredibly challenging going forward.”

Harris was a regular reserve batsman for Australia, playing 14 Tests in more than four years and averaging 25 without a century. He was dropped for Usman Khawaja during the Ashes in Australia two summers ago.

Renshaw toured India before Harris last February and March but barely made it and was dropped from the contract list along with fellow Indian tourists Peter Handscomb and Mitchell Swepson.

Test bowler Todd Murphy.

Test bowler Todd Murphy.Credit:Getty

Unmanned paceman Lance Morris and impressive young spinner Todd Murphy both received first-time contracts, while Sean Abbott, Jhye Richardson, Michael Neser and Harris have regained contracts in an expanded roster from 20 to 24.

Richardson is recovering from hamstring surgery and will be available for the Ashes, with his return to the Australian side most likely coming through white ball cricket.

Swepson was previously on the contract list because Australia had tours of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India in the last 12 months.

However, on Australia’s next Test tours to England and New Zealand next year, Bailey said it was likely Australia would only play a weirdo, veteran Nathan Lyon.

The rapid development of Murphy, who has had a stellar tour of India, has also pushed Swepson further down the crackpot pecking order.

Cricket Australia has signed men’s players

Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Lance Morris, Todd Murphy , Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa

Sports news, scores and expert commentary. Sign up for our sports newsletter. Matthew Renshaw’s Ashes hopes in shambles as Marcus Harris lands deal with Cricket Australia

Ryan Sederquist

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