THREE Tasmanian Tigers have been dumped by Cricket Australia.
Australian Twenty20 skipper George Bailey and highly ranked all-rounder James Faulkner were the only Tasmanians to retain contracts in an announcement yesterday that saw Xavier Doherty, Ed Cowan and Ben Hilfenhaus ditched and Alex Doolan (who was upgraded his Test debut in South Africa) and Jackson Bird ignored.
The day after Australia's most disappointing performance under Bailey came at the hands of India at the World Twenty20, national selectors wielded the axe to his home state.
Chief selector John Inverarity softened the blow by saying Launceston's top-order batsman Doolan was ``close'' to receiving a contract while George Town spinner Doherty ``remained in the selectors' thinking'', despite the limited overs specialist being dropped twice in the past year.
Doolan and paceman Bird both missed out on the shortened 18-man list despite touring South Africa together last month.
Inverarity said the lack of a national contract would not impact on the selection prospects of Doolan, who scored 186 runs at an average of 31 in his three matches, and remains in contention for the tour to the United Arab Emirates to take on Pakistan in October.
``Just two months ago, Alex hadn't played for Australia so his time is yet to come,'' Inverarity said.
``He's very much to the fore in our thinking, he batted at No. 3 in the three Tests in South Africa and did well.
``He's the incumbent No. 3 so it's up to him to perform well and if he does he'll be upgraded.''
The biggest loser from yesterday could be Cricket Tasmania, which will have to pay Doherty, Cowan, Doolan and Hilfenhaus out of its own pocket.
The Tigers last week announced they were on the lookout for a ``versatile'' batting recruit, but admitted CA contract decisions could impact on this hunt.
``While having three Tigers players lose their CA contracts is disappointing we are delighted George and James remain on the list,'' CT general manager of cricket Andrew Dykes said.
``From a Tigers perspective, we are well advanced with our list management discussions and have contingency plans in place to cater for the return of Ed, Ben and Xavier to our contract list.''
Players who missed out on CA contracts will be eligible to be contracted by their state associations, with the first round of those deals to be finalised by April 17 and the second round by April 22.
CRICKET AUSTRALIA CONTRACTS 2014-15: George Bailey, Michael Clarke, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Phillip Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Chris Rogers, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner, Shane Watson.