Ben Foakes and Liam Livingstone form rewarded with England central contracts

Ben Foakes and Liam Livingstone will receive their first England central contracts while Jofra Archer has been given an extension.

After two operations on a troublesome right elbow, Archer was set for a domestic comeback at the start of the English summer but a stress fracture in the Sussex paceman's lower back meant another lengthy absence.

Even though his return and a first international appearance since March 2021 is still a little way off, Archer is back bowling and has England's continued backing after being offered another annual deal.

Their faith is well founded given Archer was renowned as one of the world's best fast bowlers in all formats before his long lay-off, starring in England's 2019 World Cup win and the Ashes that summer.

The England and Wales Cricket Board's contracts structure is the same as last year, covering Test and limited-overs players and takes into account performances from the past 12 months and the probability of who will feature over the next year, with 30 players furnished with some type of deal.

Foakes has cemented himself as England's Test wicketkeeper in recent months so he is one of 18 players to get a full-time contract, along with Livingstone, who is an important cog in the white-ball sides.

World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan drops out of the list altogether after his international retirement in June while both Jason Roy and Dawid Malan have been downgraded to incremental deals.

Roy was left out of the squad for the T20 World Cup that starts later this month after averaging under 19 with the bat, with a strike-rate of 104.04, in the shortest format this year although his place on the lower banding is a sign that he is still in their thoughts.

Malan, meanwhile, is first-choice in the T20 side but lost his Test spot after last winter's Ashes, as did opening batter Rory Burns, who has not been presented with any type of England deal.

Neither has Chris Jordan - one of three players in England's T20 World Cup squad along with Alex Hales and Phil Salt without contracts - despite being a relied upon fast bowler in the shortest format for several years.

Alex Lees, who has opened the batting in England's last 10 Tests but has averaged just 23.84 with a top-score of 67 during that time, is also conspicuous by his absence.

Batter Harry Brook, seamer Matthew Potts and left-arm duo Reece Topley and David Willey get incremental deals, while Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton and Olly Stone all hang on to their pace bowling development contracts and are joined by Brydon Carse, Matthew Fisher and Jamie Overton in an expanded pool.

Sir Andrew Strauss' high performance review has indicated a fresh look at the central contracts system, with ECB chair Richard Thompson suggesting multi-year deals could be put forward in future to ward off the growing threat from the lucrative T20 franchise circuit.

For now, however, the system which was first introduced last year - which scrapped the distinction between the red and white-ball formats with all players now in a single list and an internal pay scale that continues to offer greater weight to performances in Test cricket - remains in place.

Rob Key, managing director of England men's cricket, said: "I feel we have rewarded those players who have made a significant impact over the previous 12 months and those we expect to be part of England's plans over the next period.

"The international game continues to evolve, and we must be mindful that we have to lead the way in player performance across the sport. The aim is to develop world-class players in all three formats as we strive to become the best team in the world.

"I would like to congratulate all the players offered agreements for the coming year. They will all play a pivotal role in England's efforts over the next 12 months."

Latest news