Dawid Malan hits out after missing out on England central deal before firing England to T20 victory – Daily Mail

By Paul Newman for MailOnline
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There was more than a hint of bristling defiance about the perennially under-estimated Dawid Malan on Wednesday after he had propelled England to a rare series win in Australia.
It was not so much being dropped down the order to seven in the first victory over the old enemy in Perth on Sunday when even Sam Curran was promoted ahead of him in pursuit of the rope clearing that some still believe is beyond Malan.
No, it was more his failure to earn a full central contract that led Malan to seek a chat with managing director Rob Key before the knock of 82 off 49 balls here, including four sixes, that lifted England to their series clinching victory, both games won by the narrow margin of eight runs.
Dawid Malan has hit out at the ‘strange’ system which saw him miss out on an England central contract – before his big-hitting 82 off 49 fired England to a T20 series victory against Australia
‘It’s a slightly strange system,’ said Malan, who was instead given an incremental deal that pays per performance. ‘It seems heavily led towards red-ball cricket.
‘Ultimately it puts you in tough situations if you’re not contracted because you’re losing finances you’d get if you were playing in tournaments. Those are hurdles I’ll deal with when I reach them but hopefully white-ball cricket can get recognised as Test cricket does.’
When Malan, consistently the No 1 ranked T20 batter in the world, saw England’s latest contract list, which is supposed to value red and white ball players equally these days, he was immediately on the phone.
‘Keysie and I have had that chat already,’ he said. ‘There’s nothing I can do about it. As players we’d like to be rewarded for our performances with England. 
‘That’s what contracts are for and if you’re ranked top five in the world for three years you’d hope you’d get recognised but that’s not how it works. It’s still an honour to play for England and I want to try to help win as many games as I can.’
However, Ben Stokes could be sweating on a World Cup place after another batting failure
It does still seem as though Malan is thought of as a supporting act to England’s array of big hitting stars. But he is more supportive of the reasoning that saw him drop lower and lower in the order in Perth.
‘If we’d lost a wicket in the first three overs I’d have probably gone in and if we’d lost one in the sixth over I’d still probably have gone in,’ he added. 
‘At one point I was down to bat four when Stokesey walked in but the situation of the game just changed. We’re all flexible. As long as we get a good start I reckon the whole team is padded up.’
There was, of course, a reason why Malan initially dropped down and that was to give Ben Stokes time in the middle on his return to T20 international cricket for the first time in 18 months.
It didn’t work in Perth and it didn’t work in Canberra, Stokes taking 11 balls over his seven runs on Wednesday in his new ‘permanent’ position of four before being bowled by Adam Zampa attempting to sweep. 
But Test captain Stokes made amends with an extraordinary piece of fielding to save four runs
Whisper it but with Liam Livingstone waiting in the wings and hoping to return for the final warm-up game against Pakistan next week, Stokes could really do with a score. Not that England are in any way losing faith in their talisman. 
Jos Buttler showed that by throwing him the new ball for the first time in T20 internationals while Stokes showed the way in the field, not least with one of the most extraordinary pieces of fielding it is possible to see.
Stokes was on the long off boundary when Mitchell Marsh struck what looked like an inevitable six as Australia pursued England’s 178 for six. 
But far from watching the ball sail over the boundary Stokes leapt, caught Marsh brilliantly one-handed but had to throw the ball back into play when he realised he was about to fall over the boundary.
It turned a six into a two, which was important as it turned out, but more importantly it was breathtaking.
All-rounder Sam Curran (above) claimed the bowling honours by taking 3-25 off his four overs
‘He’s a freak, isn’t he,’ said Malan. ‘For a guy who’s got a dodgy knee to move like he does is unbelievable. On another night he probably would have been able to catch that, throw it up then get back on his feet. It’s fantastic to have him around.’
It was another all-rounder who claimed the bowling honours in Sam Curran, who is playing himself into England’s first choice World Cup side more with every game he plays.
Curran took two early wickets, dismissed Tim David when Australia’s new big-hitting star was threatening to level the series and then again kept his composure to bowl the last over when 22 was needed and conceded 13, even though his first ball full toss was hit for six by Pat Cummins.
This may be a World Cup warm-up but it is an official three-match series and England have won it with a game to spare which must be encouraging for the bigger battles to come, particularly as Australia were back at full strength on Wednesday.
Stokes may need runs and Malan may be bristling but England will be content with how it has gone so far in their build-up to the World Cup.
Published by Associated Newspapers Ltd
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group

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