South Africa, WBBL stars to replace Australia internationals in The Hundred
Laura Wolvaardt, Shabnim Ismail, and Laura Kimmince will be playing in the first season of The Hundred © Getty Images
With several Australian players pulling out of the inaugural edition of The Hundred due to the Covid-19 challenges and international commitments, England and Wales Cricket Board has announced the replacements and final squads for the tournament.
Three South African internationals and many Australian stars who performed well in the sixth edition of the Women's Big Bash League are signed as replacements in the final draft for this season.
Among the significant changes, South Africa opener Laura Wolvaardt replaces her Australian counterpart Alyssa Healy for Northern Superchargers, and Shabnim Ismail will be playing for Oval Invincibles in place of Rachael Haynes.
Australian skipper Meg Lanning is set to be replaced by South Africa allrounder Sune Luus. The other international stars who will not be a part of the tournament this season are Amelia Kerr, Sophie Molineux, Elyse Villani, Annabel Sutherland, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Beth Mooney, and Georgia Wareham.
Laura Kimmince, Amanda-Jade Wellington, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Heather Graham, Rachel Priest, Piepa Cleary, Georgia Redmayne, and Erin Burns had an impressive WBBL season and are likely to be lighting up the stage in The Hundred.
The final 12 domestic slots were also announced, including Charlotte Taylor at Southern Brave, Grace Scrivens at London Spirit, and Danielle Gregory at Oval Invincibles. Western Storm Head Coach Mark O'Leary will be taking over from Matthew Mott as Head Coach of the Welsh Fire as the Australia head coach pulled out of the tournament.
Speaking about the signing, Ismail said that she is thrilled to be a part of the tournament. "To play in London will be really special, and I know I speak for all my South African teammates when I say we are really looking forward to getting over to the UK and making history in the first year of The Hundred."
"In particular, I cannot wait to play in the opening fixture of the whole competition on 21 July at The Kia Oval, and maybe bowling the first-ever ball in The Hundred.”
The Hundred Managing Director Sanjay Patel said that the ongoing pandemic and a busy schedule had caused significant challenges for the international players.
"But we are delighted with the quality of players who have come in. The Hundred will provide world-class entertainment on and off the pitch starting with the opening game at The Kia Oval on 21 July.”
OUT: Alyssa Healy, Nicola Carey
IN: Laura Wolvaardt, Laura Kimmince
OUT: Rachael Haynes
IN: Shabnim Ismail
OUT: Amelia Kerr
IN: Amanda-Jade Wellington
OUT: Sophie Molineux, Elyse Villani, Annabel Sutherland
IN: Sammy-Jo Johnson, Heather Graham and Rachel Priest
OUT: Meg Lanning, Beth Mooney, Georgia Wareham
IN: Piepa Cleary, Suné Luus, Georgia Redmayne
OUT: Ashleigh Gardner
IN: Erin Burns