Cowan facing the axe
Cowan facing the axe

Australian Test star Ed Cowan will be among a number of players to miss out on contracts from Cricket Australia this year, says a Fairfax report.

Cricket Australia has been forced to reduce the number of contracts from 25 to 17 in a direct response to the Argus review which suggested a new performance-based pay model.

High profile players Brett Lee and Tasmanian's George Bailey are also tipped to miss out on contracts while Cameron White and John Hastings are also likely to lose their national deals says the report.

Meanwhile Australian batsman Shane Watson has urged Australia's batsmen not to be "spooked" by the swing-friendly conditions in England in the five-match one-day series starting next week.

The swinging ball has caused enormous grief for the Test team in the past two Ashes tours with England emerging victorious on both occasions.

Watson said Australia's batsmen were working hard to correct their deficiencies following a spate of batting collapses in three of the past four Ashes contests.

"(You) find the areas you need to work on but certainly not get spooked by it," Watson said.

Australia's one-day team, still ranked No.1 in the world, has not done too badly in England in its past two series in the UK with a 6-1 victory in 2009 and a 3-2 defeat in 2010.

However Watson said that Australia's poor showings in the Ashes played on the minds of the players before the one-day series against England starts on June 29 at Lord's.

"Hopefully ... we will have some happy memories (rather) than the previous couple of (Test) series," he said.

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