The Hundred Draft 2023: London Spirit choose Olly Stone as Oval Invincibles select Heinrich Klaasen
Players like Babar Azam, Trent Boult, Mohammad Rizwan and Shakib Al Hasan were all left out as teams emphasized top domestic talent and player availability ahead of star power, the third edition of the competition to overlap several bilateral international series. this summer.
Marsh’s availability for Spirit will depend on the Australian white ball tour schedule in South Africa, which has yet to be finalised.
As well as Klaasen, who excelled in the SA20 of the winter and for the Proteas in their recent ODI series victory over England, the Invincibles have added the exciting speedy Pakistani Ihsanullah, with the 20-year-old having been named player of the tournament at PSL earlier this month.
Last year’s lowest-ranked side Welsh Fire also looked to Pakistan for pace, making Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf key parts of their massive rebuild, opting to retain just five of the 11 possible players before the draft.
The Fire used their top pick of £125,000 to sign Tom Abell, who is expected to be captain, and then added England dressmaker David Willey for £100,000, after their initial move for Tim David with the No. was thwarted by Southern Brave as they exercised their Right To Match to re-sign the Aussie hitter. Middlesex striker Stevie Eskinazi is also heading to Cardiff after being rewarded for his fine white ball form over an extended period with a late first gig from Hundred.
England Test opener Ben Duckett was one of those to leave the Fire and got his wish to join Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone and Will Smeed at Birmingham Phoenix in a £125,000 deal. Laurie Evans, who was cleared to return to action this week after a provisional doping suspension was lifted, was immediately snapped up for £100,000 by Manchester Originals.
Beyond the top salary brackets, New Zealand players proved popular, as expected, with the Black Caps enjoying a clear international window in August and then facing England in an ODI series immediately after the Hundred. Glenn Phillips (Fire), Devon Conway (Brave) and Michael Bracewell (Northern Superchargers) have all landed offers in the £60,000 bracket.
The Fire also had the first pick in the women’s draft, held for the first time, but were denied each of their first two selections as the first Phoenix, then Brave used RTM cards on the New Zealand batter England’s Sophie Devine and Danni Wyatt. The Fire eventually took Wyatt’s England opening partner, Sophia Dunkley, who had also previously been at the Brave, with their first choice and used their sizable draft capital to add fast South African Shabnim Ismail and the England Freya Davies.
The Spirit, who finished second in last year’s tournament, quickly managed to nab Australian all-rounder Grace Harris and England spinner Sarah Glenn, while defending champions Oval managed to gather the bulk of the squad from last year after re-signing former captain Dane. van Niekerk, drummer Susie Bates and spinner Mady Villiers, although Ismail’s move to Wales is a blow.
India captain Harmanpreet Kaur was top pick for the Trent Rockets, while in-form South African batsman Laura Wolvaardt and England seamstress Kate Cross effectively swapped places, taken in the top £31,250 salary bracket by the Originals and Superchargers, respectively.
Each women’s team still have seven spots to fill in their squad, with negotiations now set to take place in an open market, while the men’s teams will be completed with two wildcard selections following the first leg of the summer’s Vitality Blast.