Khawaja on the contract list despite facing the axe

USMAN Khawaja may be struggling for runs, and could be axed from the Australian team for the final Ashes Test starting at The Oval tomorrow night, but it's not all doom and gloom for the Queensland left-hander.

The under-fire No.3, averaging 19 in the Ashes series, now has a Cricket Australia contract after accumulating enough upgrade points by playing three Tests in England - he missed out when the original 20-man contract list was announced in April.

Meanwhile, England spinner Monty Panesar's drunken antics outside a nightclub earlier this month have seen uncapped spinner Simon Kerrigan picked ahead of him in the 14-man squad for the fifth Test.

Kerrigan has taken 47 wickets at 20.23 for Lancashire in the County Championship this season, and joins Warwickshire all-rounder Chris Woakes, who has played 13 ODIs and two Twenty20s, in the squad.

With the Australian men's hopes of winning the Ashes long gone, the Aussie women, the Southern Stars, will be out to restore some pride in the first of three ODIs in the series against England at Lord's tonight.

The sides drew the lone Test last week.

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