Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson

New Zealand’s world champion skipper Kane Williamson has withdrawn from ECB’s inaugural edition of The Hundred due to his recurrent elbow injury which also forced him to miss a Test match against England last month.

Kane Williamson skips Hundred Tournament

Williamson had a GBP 80,000 (USD 110,000) contract with Birmingham Phoenix and had stayed back in the UK after leading his team to the World Test Championship glory against India.

“Williamson, New Zealand’s captain, has been managing the injury for the past six months, missing an ODI series against Bangladesh, the start of the IPL, and the second Test against England with the same problem,” a report claimed.

The Hundred cricket
The Hundred cricket

The website also stated that Williamson will stay back to mentor the youngsters in the side.

“He is still in the UK following the World Test Championship final and is expected to be involved with the Edgbaston-based team in a mentoring capacity.”

Finn Allen, his compatriot, has been lined up by Phoenix as a replacement and will stay in the UK following his stint in the Vitality Blast with Lancashire. Allen, who has the highest career strike rate of all time in T20 cricket, has scored 215 runs in his eight innings for Lancashire, averaging 30.71 with a strike rate of 138.70.

Finn Allen
Finn Allen

Shaheen Shah Afridi has also withdrawn from his Phoenix contract due to his international commitments with Pakistan, who tour the Caribbean during the Hundred’s window from July 21-August 21.

Adam Zampa, their third men’s overseas player, is also expected to pull out as he is part of the Australia squad for their limited-overs tours to the Caribbean and Bangladesh.

Coulter-Nile and Richardson are the latest Australians to pull out, with a mandatory 14-day quarantine period on return and the tours to the Caribbean and Bangladesh a major factor in the various withdrawals.

Teams are braced for further withdrawals in the coming days with the pressures of a packed international schedule and the difficulties of travel in the time of Covid combining to squeeze the availability of the world’s top players.

The Hundred’s wildcard draft will take place on Friday, with each of the men’s teams picking one unsigned domestic player on the back of their performances in the Blast so far this season. Jordan Thompson, Sam Hain, and Sam Cook have all attracted interest.