Carey retains his position within the national setup following a season that saw the exciting left-handed keeper selected for his maiden international Test tour, the eventually postponed series in South Africa. A positive sign that the 29-year-old is considered a likely heir to current Australian Test gloveman Tim Paine, Carey’s contract renewal puts him firmly in the conversation with an historic home Ashes series on the immediate horizon.

Already first choice behind the stumps in limited overs international cricket, Carey has played 42 One Day Internationals, averaging 36.37 with the bat. His crowning moment of 2020 came in September when Carey scored just the second ODI century by an Australian keeper in more than a decade, coming to the crease against England at Old Trafford with the score 5/73 and his side in pursuit of 303.

Combining with Glenn Maxwell for an astounding 212-run partnership, Carey scored 106 from 114 deliveries to hand England their first defeat in 50-over cricket in 14 fixtures.

Carey also played 10 matches during the 2019 Cricket World Cup and finished with 375 runs at an average of 62.50, the most prolific record for a lower order batsman in the history of the prestigious tournament. His remarkable efforts saw him named the Team of the Tournament alongside teammate Mitchell Starc.

Currently plying his trade with Bangalore in the IPL, Richardson has been a long-term feature of the national contract list since his ODI debut in 2013 against Sri Lanka. The quick has taken 39 wickets in his 25 ODI’s, with best figures of 5/68, and 29 from his 26 Twenty20 International appearances.

Richardson played in the final fixture of Australia’s 2020 ODI tour of South Africa, claiming wicket of Player of the Match JJ Smuts in the defeat. The 30-year-old also played in all three games of the preceding T20I series, a series won 2-1 by Australia.

Down to 17 players from the traditional 20, the selection squeeze has seen Travis Head dropped despite an extremely strong Marsh Sheffield Shield season where he finished as the competition’s second most prolific run-scorer. The left-hander amassed 893 runs at an average of 68.69 including three centuries, three half-centuries and a stunning 223 against Western Australia, his highest first-class score.

Redbacks Head Coach Jason Gillespie spoke of his excitement for Carey and Richardson while looking to the future for the Redbacks inspirational skipper:

“We are thrilled that Alex and Kane have been rewarded for their efforts and performances with the recognition of a national contract and we know that they will continue to represent South Australian cricket with passion and flair.

“We are of course disappointed that Travis has been omitted, but no career passes without setbacks and there is no doubt that he will now do everything required to get back into contention for international cricket. He has shown during the summer that he is one of the best batsmen in the country and we look forward to seeing more of these performances next summer.”

National Selector Trevor Hohns spoke to the reasons for a smaller contract list this season and a path back to the national team for those that missed:

“There are two main reasons behind the size of the contract list announced today. Firstly, we have seen format specialisation become increasingly prevalent… which has resulted in a broader group of players representing Australia, often beyond the initial list of contracted players at the start of each year.

“Secondly, we want to create an environment where players strive for national selection through consistent domestic performances and earn national contracts through consistent international performances.

“There is a considerable amount of international cricket to be played across all formats in the next 12 months and the door to national selection is never closed to players outside this list.”