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First batch of 18 players confirmed for The Hundred

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed the names of the first 18 players to take part in The Hundred, with England batsman Ollie Pope one of the first players to move teams.

Pope will be heading to Cardiff to play for Welsh Fire, where he will be joined by England bowler Katie George – one of eight women’s players whose decision to roll over their 2020 contract offer has been confirmed.

While many of the men’s teams have retained the same Test players that were due to play for them this year before the inaugural year of the competition was postponed due to Covid-19, two England stars – Pope and Rory Burns – are on the move. Burns will cross London to join Oval Invincibles.

“I’m incredibly excited to be joining Welsh Fire. The side had a really strong squad lined up and I’m sure they’ll be working hard to retain some of the star names and further strengthen the side in the upcoming draft,” Pope said.

“We have all experienced a year none of us could have predicted but The Hundred promises to be a hugely exciting competition next year and I can’t wait to take part,” he added.

The first eight women’s players to have rolled over their contracts have been unveiled, including six England players and two West Indian superstars.

“The Hundred is hugely important to the ongoing growth of the women’s game, from both a performance and profile perspective. As a player, I am hugely excited to get to play with and against some of the best cricketers in the world, and I’m sure the fans will get even more excited as more names are confirmed over the next few months,” said Katie.

The announcement marks the start of a three-month men’s retention window meaning until the end of January, the eight men’s teams will be able to retain players from their original 2020 squad for the 2021 season. A men’s draft will be held in early 2021 to select the remaining players.

Sanjay Patel, Managing Director for The Hundred, said, “This is a really exciting moment for The Hundred to see where the England men’s test central contract players will be playing next year and to announce the first wave of re-signed players for the women’s teams.”

“Over the next few months we will see world-class players and massive names from around the world committing to The Hundred and we can’t wait to launch the competition in 2021,” he added.

Confirmed players for The Hundred:

Birmingham Phoenix – Amy Jones, Dom Sibley and Chris Woakes

London Spirit – Zak Crawley and Deandra Dottin

Manchester Originals – Jos Buttler and Kate Cross

Northern Superchargers – Ben Stokes and Lauren Winfield-Hill

Oval Invincibles – Rory Burns, Sam Curran, and Fran Wilson

Southern Brave – Jofra Archer and Stafanie Taylor

Trent Rockets – Joe Root and Nat Sciver

Welsh Fire – Katie George and Ollie Pope

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