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Cricket: Rising Australian star Starc hits contract jackpot

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Cricket Australia unveiled Wednesday a list of 20 contracted players for the new season amid reports that star bowler Mitchell Starc is celebrating a million dollar pay-day.

With the retirements of former skipper Ricky Ponting and stalwart Mike Hussey, funds were freed up for a changing of the guard in the lucrative 2013-14 roster.

Sydney's Daily Telegraph said Starc was the big winner when the National Selection Panel (NSP) made its pick.

The 23-year-old left-armer broke onto the scale last season with a base deal reportedly worth Aus$230,000 (US$240,000) a year.

His match-winning efforts saw him surge up the elite rankings alongside captain Michael Clarke and into the seven-figure pay bracket, the newspaper said.

Starc was one of the few Australians to stand out in all three forms of the game meaning he scored highly on the complex formula used to rank top players.

National selector John Inverarity suggested the door was still open to some big names who did not make the list.

"Jackson Bird, Moises Henriques, Usman Khawaja and Steve Smith were all very close to making this contract list and we expect them to take opportunities that are presented across formats to represent Australia and make a case for an upgrade to a CA contract, as the year unfolds," he said.

"Aaron Finch hasn't made the contract list on this occasion but the NSP hopes he will make a case for future inclusion through his performances."

Last year 17 players were initially given contracts and an additional nine players were upgraded to contracts during the season.

Contract list: George Bailey, Michael Clarke, Ed Cowan, Patrick Cummins, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus, Phillip Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Shane Watson.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130402/cricket-rising-australian-star-starc-hits-contract-jackpot