Warner, Pooran picked for England's new Hundred competition

London (AFP) –


Australian opening batsman David Warner has rejoined Southern Brave for the inaugural edition of English cricket's Hundred competition, it was announced on Tuesday.

The 100 balls-per-side franchise tournament was meant to have been launched last year but was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

All eight franchises will feature both men's and women's teams, with the two competitions running side by side.

Thirty-five men's players were revealed on Tuesday out of more than 500 overseas and domestic players vying to fill the remaining spots.

A further eight English and eight Australian star women's players have also been announced.

The Brave had just two slots to fill and managed to secure Warner, who was a first-round pick by the franchise for the 2020 tournament before he dropped out due to other commitments.

The 34-year-old was one of only 10 overseas players in the draft with the highest available reserve price of £100,000 ($141,000) and was the third pick.

"To be able to bring David back into the fold is a huge boost for our team," said Southern Brave men's head coach Mahela Jayawardene.

"We were so excited when we grabbed him in the first draft, so it's great to have him back."

West Indies star Nicholas Pooran, the men's first pick, and South Africa paceman Kagiso Rabada were among 10 new arrivals for Manchester Originals.

They will join England star Jos Buttler and Phil Salt, who were retained from last year's squad.

West Indies all-rounder and second pick Kieron Pollard was drafted by Welsh Fire.

Pollard, who has scored more than 10,000 runs in Twenty20 cricket, is joined by Australian paceman Jhye Richardson.

The duo replace Australia pair Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc, who decided against playing in this year's event.

The Hundred is aimed at attracting a fresh audience to cricket in order to safeguard its future but critics have questioned the need for yet another new format.

The competition will launch with a women's fixture as Oval Invincibles host Manchester Originals on July 21, with the men's sides playing the following day.