Pollard, Warner and Rabada top picks in draft for The Hundred

Welsh Fire has added West Indies great batsman Kieron Pollard to their squad while Southern Brave has signed Australian debut player David Warner for The Hundred, the England and Wales franchise starting in July.

The eight men’s teams collectively added 35 players from a squad of more than 500 foreign and England cricketers to their roster after the draft, which the ECB released on Tuesday.

All teams now have a choice of wild cards each to fill their final slots in June.

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“I can’t wait to come and play in The Hundred, it’s an exciting new cricket competition and I’m really excited to be a part of it,” second choice Pollard said in a statement.

“… With the arrival of Jhye (Richardson) as well, I think this team from Welsh Fire has a lot of firepower in the bowling and batting teams so I think we can put on a real show.”

West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran was the men’s first pick in the draft and was joined to the Manchester Originals squad by South African quick pitcher Kagiso Rabada.

Eight other English and eight Australian players have been announced for the women’s tournament, including Meg Lanning (Welsh Fire), Sophie Molineux (Trent Rockets) and Alyssa Healy (Northern Superchargers).

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The women did not have a draft as the teams were set to continue to fill their rosters over the coming months.

The ECB has invested heavily in The Hundred, a competition it believes will attract younger audiences to the sport. Matches will consist of 100 balls per set with a change of ends after 10 deliveries.

The launch of the inaugural edition was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The women’s competition will mark the start of The Hundred with Oval Invincibles meeting Manchester Originals on July 21, a day before the men’s teams clash.

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