The Second Stage of the Player Selection process in the inaugural season of the Hundred is finished. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced the full retention list of all franchises on February 3. All the eight franchises could have retained as many players as they wished at a mutually agreed salary band. Salaries in the competition have been cut by 20%, with a Round 1 pick earning £100,000 for the tournament, and a Round 7 pick taking £24,000.
In the men’s category, the retention list shows a mixed bag of emotion from all the franchises. Most of the franchises have gone with stability and retained the core players but the Manchester Originals have other plans. The Originals have just opted for five picks and released Dane Vilas & Saqib Mahmood. The franchise has left the remaining selection for drafts.
The most surprising news came with the departure of Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc by Welsh Fire after signing top-band £125,000 contracts before the season got postponed. Welsh Fire need to fill seven spots including two overseas players.
Oval Invincibles have released four players – Fabian Allen, Rilee Rossouw, Mark Wood, and Hardus Viljoen. The Invincibles have retained a strong core which comprises Captain Sam Billing, Jason Roy, and the Curran Brothers. Invincibles’ neighbor, London Spirits has two voids as they parted ways with Kyle Abbott and Rory Burns.
Birmingham Pheonix and Trent Rockets are the most settled teams ahead of the draft stage with 12 retained players. The Pheonix has power-packed themselves by picking players like Williamson, Adam Zampa, and Shaheen Afridi. Whereas, the Rockets look solid due to presence of Rashid Khan, Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, and Joe Root.
Southern Brave has two slots, including one overseas after the departure of Pakistan’s Shadab Khan and Northern Superchargers will have five slots in the draft. In the women’s competition, 23 more women’s players have also had their involvement confirmed, headlined by London Spirit retaining Freya Davies and Oval Invincibles getting South Africa skipper Dane van Niekerk. Amelia Kerr is set to represent Southern Brave and Alex Hartley will be playing for Manchester Originals.