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Liam Livingstone, Ben Foakes earn ECB full contracts but Alex Lees, Jason Roy miss out

Liam Livingstone‘s status as a cornerstone of England’s new-look white-ball team has been recognised with the award of his first England central contract, after the ECB announced a list of 30 names for the 2022-23 season, covering all three formats of the game and including 18 lucrative full annual deals.
Livingstone, 29, is currently recovering from an ankle injury, and endured a relatively lean season in 2022, with a solitary half-century against Netherlands in 16 innings across white-ball formats. However, his explosive batting power – epitomised by his 42-ball century against Pakistan in 2021 – allied to an ability to spin the ball both ways, makes him an invaluable asset to a team that is still rebuilding following the retirement of Eoin Morgan in June, particularly in the lead-in to the defence of their 50-over World Cup title in India in 12 months’ time.
In a further sign of the team’s evolution, Jason Roy – one of the linchpins of the 2019 victory – has had his own status downgraded to an incremental deal after a season-long struggle for form, while Dawid Malan, who is currently in Australia preparing for the T20 World Cup, has also lost his full contract following his omission from England’s Test plans since last winter’s Ashes defeat.
Chris Jordan, another of England’s T20 veterans, has missed out on a deal for 2022-23, but Harry Brook and Reece Topley – two of the star performers in England’s white-ball ranks in recent months – have both been handed their first incremental contracts.
On the red-ball front, Ben Foakes, the Test wicketkeeper, has been handed his first full contract after a breakthrough season in which he made his second Test century and played a key role in England’s tally of six wins out of seven. Matthew Potts, who debuted against New Zealand at Lord’s and claimed 20 wickets in five appearances, has been rewarded with his first incremental deal.

In a sign of England’s faith in the men who starred in Ben Stokes’ Test team, ten of the players who featured in the bulk of the seven matches have all been awarded full contracts, including Zak Crawley, whose form was under constant scrutiny in the summer, but who repaid some of the management’s faith with a fluent half-century to seal England’s series win against South Africa at The Oval.

The one exception, however, is Crawley’s opening partner, Alex Lees, who made two half-centuries with a best of 67 against New Zealand, and played a key role in the run-chase against India at Edgbaston. However, he has averaged just 23.84 in ten Tests since debuting in the Caribbean in March, and now seems less secure of his place when England name their Test squad for the tour of Pakistan in the coming weeks. Rory Burns, who guided Surrey to success in the County Championship last month but has not been considered by England since the Ashes, has also been cut from the contracts list.
Jofra Archer, who has not played since the T20I tour of India in March 2021 but made a tentative return to the nets last week during his lengthy recuperation from elbow surgery, has retained his full contract, as has his fellow 90mph fast bowler, Mark Wood, who has made an impressive return to action after also undergoing two elbow operations this year.

In a bid to protect England’s pace-bowling stocks, six further fast bowlers have been handed development contracts. Brydon Carse, Matthew Fisher and Jamie Overton – whose debut against New Zealand at Headingley is best remembered for his match-turning innings of 97 – join Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton and Olly Stone who were awarded such a deal last year as well. Mahmood and Stone are both on the comeback trail after stress fractures of the back.

England’s managing director of men’s cricket, Rob Key, said: “I feel we have rewarded those players who have made a significant impact over the previous 12 months and those we expect to be part of England’s plans over the next period.

“The international game continues to evolve, and we must be mindful that we have to lead the way in player performance across the sport. The aim is to develop world-class players in all three formats as we strive to become the best team in the world.

“I would like to congratulate all the players offered agreements for the coming year. They will all play a pivotal role in England’s efforts over the next 12 months.”

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