The upcoming edition of The Hundred is all set to treat cricket fans with the highly-competitive battle between bat and ball. While the best in the world's cricket will grace the competition with their presence, India's star all-rounder Deepti Sharma will also mark her presence for Birmingham Phoenix.
The 24-year-old Indian off-spinner along with the likes of Suzie Bates, Mohammad Hasnain and Elyse Villani were a few of the names who made headlines during Overseas Wildcraft Draft ahead of this summer's edition of The Hundred. Veteran New Zealand star cricketer Suzie Bates has been drafted by the champions Oval Invincibles while the experienced pacer Tahuhu has been signed by Manchester Originals. The 24-year-old Kiwi pacer Jess Kerr has been drafted in by London Spirit.
The statement released by ECB highlights the importance of drafting women cricketers as it helps to take another step towards providing an equal platform for both. While the women’s sides will have to be finalized by June 30, men’s squads have a deadline of July 7. According to The Hundred rules, a women's team can retain any number of players from the previous edition and later sign an overseas player via the wildcard draft. Birmingham Phoenix finished last season’s group stages on the third spot in the table but was beaten by champions Oval Invincibles in the Eliminator.
Sanjay Patel, Managing Director of The Hundred commented on the overseas draft and welcomed 16 more international stars to The Hundred. "Players from seven countries have been selected and it will be a treat to watch quality players like Mohammad Hasnain, Deepti Sharma and Suzie Bates to The Hundred this year," he said. Mr Patel also stated that the association of these players will only add more feathers to the competition and will enhance the quality of the cricket.
Hundred overseas wildcard draft:
Birmingham Phoenix: Deepti Sharma (India) Imran Tahir (South Africa)
London Spirit: Jess Kerr (New Zealand) Ben McDermott (Australia)
Manchester Originals: Lea Tahuhu (New Zealand) Ashton Turner (Australia)
Northern Superchargers: Heather Graham (Australia) David Wiese (Namibia)
Oval Invincibles: Suzie Bates (New Zealand) Mohmmad Hasnain (Pakistan)
Southern Brave: Molly Strano (Australia) Finn Allen (New Zealand)
Trent Rockets: Elyse Villani (Australia) Daniel Sams (Australia)
Welsh Fire: Nicola Carey (Australia) Noor Ahmad (Afghanistan)