The Hundred might miss foreign stars owing to busy international schedule and COVID-19 protocols
Several Pakistan, Australian and West Indies' players have contracts in The Hundred
Updated - May 18, 2021 11:54 am
With the ICC T20 World Cup slated to take place later this year in India, the participating teams will be playing several limited-overs series for preparation. Hence, the cricket calendar is packed with international games. Owing to this, it would be difficult for any league to conduct matches with the services of all their overseas players. The inaugural edition of The Hundred faces the same problem.
The Hundred is organized by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), and the tournament will see 100-ball per side matches. Eight teams will be participating in the men’s and women’s competition, respectively, which takes place between July 22 and August 21. While several prominent players from Australia, West Indies, Pakistan, and other nations have contracts in the tournament, many of them are likely to pull out due to the international schedule and also the quarantine restrictions due to COVID-19.
The upcoming white-ball series between West Indies and Australia in the Caribbean Islands is overlapping with The Hundred. Seven of the nine Australians contracted to play in the men’s competition were named in an enlarged 23-man squad, including Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell, and David Warner. For West Indies, Nicholas Pooran, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, and Sunil Narine are the four players having contracts in The Hundred. While Pooran and Pollard have been regular in the national team, Russell and Narine are expected to come back with the T20 World Cup lined ahead.
Overseas stars may miss the inaugural season of The Hundred
After the conclusion of the Australia series, West Indies will also host Pakistan in five T20I games. With the last T20I match scheduled for August 3, the players can still participate in the second half of The Hundred. However, the travel restrictions and isolation protocols might well limit their involvement. Among Pakistan players, Shaheen Afridi and Shadab Khan have contracts in the new competition.
ECB remains confident that the Hundred will feature some of the best overseas players in the world. However, they are realistic about the fact that some players will withdraw in the coming times. “The realities of Covid mean there remain practicalities that are difficult for some overseas players to overcome,” a spokesperson was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
Notably, two Australian players – Rachael Haynes and Jess Jonassen – have already withdrawn from the women’s tournament due to the isolation process. However, many more names are likely to come as the tournament approaches.