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Picture Credit: ECB/Twitter

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced a new structure for contracts of national team players, with as many as 20 cricketers being awarded with single 'central' contracts. It comes as a major change from the previous rule (introduced in 2016) where there used to be separate contracts for red ball and white ball.

"The new system has been developed working in consultation with the players, Team England Player Partnership (TEPP) and the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA). It is designed to meet England's future needs in what has become a fluid and dynamic landscape. The system considers the likelihood of players featuring in England teams across formats in the next 12 months, whilst also recognising performances in the preceding year," ECB revealed in an official statement.

List of 20 centrally contracted players

As a result of this new system, the list features players from across all three formats. Interestingly, Ben Stokes has also been handed the annual contract despite the all-rounder being out of action for a while due to personal reasons. The 20 players who have been handed the annual contract (12-month period starting from October 1, 2021) are as follows:

1. Moeen Ali (Worcestershire)

2. James Anderson (Lancashire)

3. Jofra Archer (Sussex)

4. Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire)

5. Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)

6. Rory Burns (Surrey)

7. Jos Buttler (Lancashire)

8. Zak Crawley (Kent)

9. Sam Curran (Surrey)

10. Jack Leach (Somerset)

11. Dawid Malan (Yorkshire)

12. Eoin Morgan (Middlesex)

13. Ollie Pope (Surrey)

14. Adil Rashid (Yorkshire)

15. Ollie Robinson (Sussex)

16. Joe Root (Yorkshire)

17. Jason Roy (Surrey)

18. Ben Stokes (Durham)

19. Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)

20. Mark Wood (Durham)

ECB has also handed additional contracts

In addition to the annual contracts, the board has also awarded increment contracts and pace bowling development contracts to few players, who have featured for the national side in recent times.

England Increment Contracts: Dom Bess (Yorkshire), Tom Curran (Surrey), Chris Jordan (Surrey) and Liam Livingstone (Lancashire)

England Pace Bowling Development Contracts: Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Craig Overton (Somerset) and Olly Stone (Warwickshire)