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Michael Clarke believes Australia's best Twenty20 players should be included in Cricket Australia's contract list. On the eve of the ICC World Twenty20 in the Caribbean, Australia's Twenty20 captain said it seemed unjust that formal deals were not in place for short-format specialists like David Warner, David Hussey and Dirk Nannes.

"I've told Cricket Australia that they should have contracts," Clarke told reporters in St Lucia. "I think there should be a Twenty20 contract introduced to our system. Players like David Warner and David Hussey ... they're here playing in a Twenty20 World Cup. They should be paid for that.

"We've got a lot of guys in this squad now who aren't on CA contracts but they're playing this form of the game for Australia in a World Cup. I think there needs to be some kind of recognition for those guys. I don't know how that could work but I believe there should probably be something like Twenty20 contracts."

The Cricket Australia contract system rewards Test and one-day players while Twenty20 is not considered a major factor. Over the past few years Australia have generally used the same players in one-day and Twenty20 cricket but the trend towards more 20-over specialists could lead to a greater disparity between the sides.

The tournament in the West Indies, which starts on Friday, will be the third Twenty20 world championship in four years as the format continues to gain impetus. Australia have not perfected their game in 20-over cricket and are keen to make up for last year's surprise first-round exit.

"For me, it's as serious as a one-day match or a Test match," Clarke said. "There are blokes in this squad who haven't played Test cricket. They haven't played one-day cricket. It's the ultimate for them.

"It's become exactly the same as one-day and Test cricket. It's a form of the game that we want to be the best in the world at. We're not there yet, we're improving, but this [tournament] is a way for us to start."

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