Cricket Australia to reward Ed Cowan with national contract

Ed Cowan has impressed with his immense grit and patience in the Melbourne Test Getty Images

Sydney: Jan 8, 2012

Ed Cowan could be rewarded handsomely by Cricket Australia for his impressive Test debut against India as the opener looks set to sign a USD 100,000-plus national contract if he plays in the third Test in Perth starting Friday.

Cowan, who won his baggy green for the Boxing Day Test against India a fortnight ago, has impressed with his immense grit and patience in the Melbourne Test.

The CA deal is the ultimate reward for Cowan, who had almost given up hope of playing Test cricket after being overlooked for Australia A’s tour of Zimbabwe in June.

Cowan’s domestic deal with Tasmania is estimated to be worth around USD 100,000.

Cricket Australia’s base contract is USD 160,000, with Cowan to pocket an additional USD 50,000 in match fees if he plays all four Tests against India, the ‘Sunday Telegraph’ reported.

Australian Cricketers Association boss Paul Marsh confirmed Cowan is on the verge of earning a Cricket Australia deal.

“You have to get 12 points for an upgraded CA deal and at the moment Ed has 10 points,” Marsh said. “If he gets selected for the next Test he will get an upgrade.”

Australian cricket is facing its biggest contractual shake-up in almost 20 years, with more than a quarter of CA’s 25 contracted elite fighting to secure new deals.

With CA to announce its 2012-13 list after the West Indies tour in April, contracted players such as Xavier Doherty, Callum Ferguson, John Hastings, Nathan Hauritz, Doug Bollinger and Jason Krejza are on shaky ground.

Opener Phil Hughes faces a nervous wait after being axed from the Test side last month, while veterans Brad Haddin, 34, Ryan Harris, 32, and Brett Lee, 35, could face downgrades at the twilight stage of their careers.

The biggest loser is set to be Mitchell Johnson. Ranked in Australia’s top five players on a fixed contract worth around USD 1.5 million, Johnson’s toe injury will see him in Test exile for at least a year, sparking a major rankings drop that could cost him USD 300,000.

However, Cowan is poised to be the major beneficiary, along with new quicks Patrick Cummins and James Pattinson.(PTI)