England's limited-overs cricket players are set to be better financially rewarded after an overhaul of the central contract system. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced that the changes are designed to reflect the ever-increasing popularity of the one-day and T20 formats.
Prior to the revamp, England's white-ball specialists could only receive incremental contracts. But under the new system – which is being formally introduced from 1 October – there is scope for white-ball players to earn considerably more than has historically been the case.
The ECB will determined players' salaries by ranking them based on their on-field performances, in addition to other factors that include "off-field contribution, fielding and fitness".
"We believe the restructure of the central contract system will recognise the increased focus of the shorter format and the importance that we place on this," Andrew Strauss, the ECB's Director of Cricket, said in a statement.
"It is undeniable that the introduction of central contracts in 2002 has greatly benefited the fortunes of the England Test team. During this period, the team has consistently performed well against the other Test nations around the world. We hope that continues over the next few years."
Since assuming his current role in 2015, Strauss has made a conscious effort to make white-ball cricket more of a priority. The former England captain said limited-overs games must be seen to be on a par with Test matches.
"We always make our sacrifices in one-day cricket in terms of resting players rather than Tests, but we need to have far more balance," he said last year, according to the Daily Mail. "Our best way, short term, to prioritise both – and this doesn't mean to say we don't want to win Test series – is by having more separation and more specialists in each team."
Yorkshire batsman Joe Root, Warwickshire pace bowler Chris Woakes, and all-rounders Moeen Ali of Worcestershire and Ben Stokes of Durham are the only players to have been awarded both contracts under the revamped system.
Test contracts: Moeen Ali (Worcestershire); James Anderson (Lancashire); Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire); Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire); Alastair Cook (Essex); Steven Finn (Middlesex); Joe Root (Yorkshire); Ben Stokes (Durham); Chris Woakes (Warwickshire); Mark Wood (Durham)
Limited-overs contracts: Moeen Ali (Worcestershire); Jos Buttler (Lancashire); Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire); Eoin Morgan (Middlesex); Liam Plunkett (Yorkshire); Joe Root (Yorkshire); Jason Roy (Surrey); Adil Rashid (Yorkshire); Ben Stokes (Durham); Chris Woakes (Warwickshire); David Willey (Yorkshire)