Seven more star players from across the international and domestic game have today been secured by Birmingham Phoenix for the inaugural season of The Hundred.
Today’s men’s team announcement, which will be the last before the player draft on 22 February, is headlined by New Zealand and Sunrisers Hyderabad star and the world’s number one ranked Test batsman Kane Williamson, and Pakistan left-arm fast bowling sensation Shaheen Afridi.
Lancashire, Perth Scorchers, Peshawar Zalmi and global T20 all-rounder Liam Livingstone is also named as one of the Phoenix’s top picks, whilst Glamorgan wicket-keeper batsman and fellow T20 specialist Chris Cooke retains his place in the men’s squad.
Twelve players have been retained by Birmingham Phoenix from the original 2020 men’s squad, with two places to be confirmed in the upcoming Men’s Draft.
Kane Williamson said: “I’m really pleased to be staying at Birmingham Phoenix. It’s always been great to play against Moeen (Ali) and Chris (Woakes) and it’ll be exciting to line up alongside them. You want to test yourself against the best and that’s what The Hundred is all about.”
Eighteen-year-old fast bowling prodigy Issy Wong, who is currently in New Zealand training with the England women’s squad, is named alongside top order batter Bears Gwen Davies and all-rounder Thea Brookes.
Issy Wong said: “It’s fantastic to join Birmingham Phoenix and to have the opportunity to represent my home city in this first season of The Hundred.
“The tournament is going to be such a great spectacle and being able to play all of our home games at Edgbaston, as double headers, is something that I can’t wait for.
“It’s a ground that I’ve been coming to for training and to watch games with my family since my early years, so I’m hoping that we can make a great fortress for the Phoenix in the months ahead.”
Birmingham Phoenix are one of eight new teams taking part in The Hundred, a new 100-ball competition that is designed to throw open cricket’s doors to everyone. Boasting world-class men’s and women’s players, it will take place this summer and feature eight city-based teams from Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Southampton and two in London. It will be screened live by Sky and the BBC.
“It’s fantastic to have some of the biggest names in the game added to our men’s squad in this final -pre-draft announcement, and to secure more rising stars in the women’s squad,” said Birmingham Phoenix General Manager Craig Flindall.
“Kane has had a sensational winter with New Zealand where he has cemented his place alongside the greats of the game. Shaheen, at just 20, is quickly becoming one of the hottest fast bowling prospects in the game, whilst Liam and Chris are vastly experienced T20 specialists that bring great firepower to our batting line-up.
“We’re also thrilled to secure Issy, Gwen and Thea within our women’s squad, who all know what it takes to win a trophy given their success with the Bears. Issy’s pace has made her one of the most talked-about fast bowlers in the women’s game and she’ll gain a huge amount from travelling to New Zealand with the England squad.
“Gwen and Thea are also exciting players who could play a huge role for the Phoenix in this inaugural tournament.”