London:Former England captain Michael Vaughan was one of 12 players awarded a 12-month central contract by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Tuesday.
Vaughan, who led England to Ashes glory in 2005, resigned as Test captain after South Africa clinched their first Test series win in England since 1965 last month and was replaced as skipper by Kevin Pietersen.
The Yorkshire batsman, who sat out the final match of the South Africa series, has struggled for runs this season. His last fifty, for Yorkshire, was followed by scores of two, nought, 21, nought and 17 against South Africa. A break from cricket did not lead to an upturn in his fortunes when he came back, with the 31-year-old Vaughan managing just 10, nought and 19 in his next three innings for his county. "The award of an England central contract to Michael Vaughan reflects the selectors' view that Michael still has a role to play in the England Test squad over the next 12 months," said England national selector Geoff Miller.
"As we build toward the Ashes in 2009, we feel that Michael's experience of previous Ashes campaigns and his excellent personal record against Australia will be an important asset to the squad," the former England off-spinner added.
England are due to announce on September 29 their squad for a two Test tour of India in December.
Vaughan, who has not been a part of England's one-day side since last year's World Cup and so didn't feature in the recent 4-0 home series win against the South Africans, was not included in England's squad for the Stanford Super Series and the seven-match one-day campaign in India.
As well as the 12 centrally contracted players, a further seven players have been awarded "increment contracts" for the same period, October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2009.
Pace bowler Matthew Hoggard was dropped from the list of centrally contracted players with Stuart Broad, the man who took his Test place, replacing him among the twelve.
England centrally contracted players 2008/09: James Anderson, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Alastair Cook, Andrew Flintoff, Stephen Harmison, Monty Panesar, Kevin Pietersen, Ryan Sidebottom, Andrew Strauss, Michael Vaughan.
Increment contracts: Tim Ambrose, Ravi Bopara, Samit Patel, Matthew Prior, Owais Shah, Graeme Swann, Luke Wright.