London: The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced Australian duo Steve Smith and David Warner and West Indies opener Chris Gayle are among the most expensive players listed in Sunday’s draft for the new domestic tournament The Hundred.
Smith helped Australia retain the Ashes in England last month while Warner endured a miserable series, managing just one fifty in five Tests.
Paceman Mitchell Starc, who played just one Test in that series, is the third Australian in the six-man group who will command a £125,000 ($159,400) reserve price, the ECB said in a statement.
Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga and fellow speedster Kagiso Rabada of South Africa are the other players in the top bracket for the inaugural edition of the 100-ball competition, which will be played in July-August next year.
Five of the eight city-based sides will have an Australian in charge with Shane Warne, Darren Lehmann and Tom Moody among them. None of the men’s teams have a local coach.
Twenty20 stalwarts Rashid Khan of Afghanistan and West Indian Andre Russell, with an identical £100,000 reserve price, are among 239 players from outside the UK to enter the draft.
England World Cup winners Mark Wood and Liam Plunkett headline the 331 domestic players who have put their names forward for the draft.
“Teams will select 12 players on the night — with a maximum of three overseas picks — who will join the already-announced England red-ball contracted players and Local Icons,” the ECB said in a statement.
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The England cricket team has not toured Pakistan since 2005 due to security reasons.
Against New Zealand in the 2019-2020 season, Smith was dismissed by left-arm pacer Neil Wagner four times, as the Kiwi consistently attacked the batsman with short-pitched deliveries aimed at his body.
Looking back at the recently-concluded season, Wadia said the umpiring error to call a short-run when it wasn't, cost the team a playoff berth though it did not show the required consistency in the first year under captain and coach combine of Rahul and Kumble.