Ballance earns his reward but Bresnan ousted

GARY BALLANCE has won his first central contract, but Tim Bresnan has lost his after England announced their player deals for the next 12 months.

MAIN MAN: Yorkshire's Gary Ballance has been rewarded with a central contract for England.

Ballance has been rewarded for an outstanding summer in which he scored 704 runs in the seven Tests against 
Sri Lanka and India.

The left-hander averaged 70.40 in 11 innings and hit three hundreds and three fifties after being handed the pivotal No 3 role.

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But his Yorkshire colleague Bresnan, who lost his Test place after the Ashes whitewash, and who has not played international cricket since March, has not been awarded a new contract.

However, Bresnan remains part of England’s plans having been named in the squad for last week’s T20 international against India only to be forced to withdraw with a pectoral injury.

Yorkshire’s Joe Root retains his central contract after a summer in which he was even more prolific than Ballance.

Root scored 777 runs in the seven Tests at 97.12 in a magnificent response to the Ashes series.

Yorkshire’s Liam Plunkett has been awarded an increment contract along with Ravi Bopara, Alex Hales, Eoin Morgan and James Tredwell.

First central contracts also go to Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler, Chris Jordan, Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes, while James Anderson, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook and Steven Finn have been given new deals.

Sam Robson has been overlooked despite opening in all seven Tests, paving the way for such as Yorkshire’s Adam Lyth potentially to succeed him in the side.

The full list of centrally contracted players is: MM Ali (Worcestershire), JM Anderson (Lancashire), GS Ballance (Yorkshire), IR Bell (Warwickshire), SCJ Broad (Nottinghamshire), JC Buttler (Lancashire), AN Cook (Essex), ST Finn (Middlesex), CJ Jordan (Sussex), JE Root (Yorkshire), BA Stokes (Durham), CR Woakes (Warwickshire).