Mark Wood and Kane Williamson among players retained for The Hundred

David Charlesworth, PA

England fast bowler Mark Wood and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson are among 57 players to be retained by their franchises for the inaugural edition of The Hundred this summer.

Wood will remain with London Spirit while Williamson links up with England duo Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes at Birmingham Phoenix in the last batch of player retentions, with the window now closed.

A top-up draft will take place for the eight men’s teams to fill the gaps in their 15-man squads, which will be confirmed on February 23, while the women’s sides will be finalised over the coming months.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has been retained by Birmingham Phoenix (David Davies/PA)
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has been retained by Birmingham Phoenix (David Davies/PA)

“I’m really pleased to be staying at Birmingham Phoenix,” Williamson said.

“It’s always been great to play against Moeen and Chris 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.”

Australia limited-overs captain Aaron Finch will captain Northern Superchargers, while compatriot Glenn Maxwell and West Indies all-rounder have recommitted to London Spirit and Southern Brave respectively.

Finch, who played county cricket for Yorkshire in 2014 and 2015, said: “I loved my time as a player at Yorkshire and I’m really looking forward to getting back up there and hopefully putting on a show.

“We have a batting line-up that can do some damage and with some smart additions at the draft we should have a very strong squad.”

Aaron Finch will captain Northern Superchargers (Shaun Botterill/PA)
Aaron Finch will captain Northern Superchargers (Shaun Botterill/PA)

England wicketkeeper-batsman and Kent captain Sam Billings is the headline retention by Oval Invincibles ahead of an event that was set to launch last year but was postponed by 12 months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Teams could re-sign players who had been due to represent them in 2020 in a retention window but its closure on Wednesday morning means there are 35 spaces in the men’s player draft.

Manchester Originals still have 10 vacancies in their squad while Welsh Fire, who added World Cup-winning seamer Liam Plunkett to their ranks on Wednesday, have seven spots to fill later this month.

The women’s sides are continuing to take shape, with Alex Hartley, a key member of the England side which won the 2017 World Cup, staying in Manchester and competing for the Old Trafford-based franchise.

New Zealand’s leg-spinning all-rounder Amelia Kerr has signed for Southern Brace as a replacement for Suzie Bates, who has had to withdraw from the competition with a shoulder injury.

Alex Hartley was a key member of the England side that won the Women's World Cup in 2017 (Mike Egerton/PA)
Alex Hartley was a key member of the England side that won the Women’s World Cup in 2017 (Mike Egerton/PA)

England seamer Freya Davies, who stays with the London Spirit, said: “Lord’s is a brilliant place to play cricket and it’ll be really special to call it home with London Spirit this summer.

“The Hundred is a fantastic opportunity, representing another important step in growing the sport for women and girls.”

Full list of players announced on Wednesday:

Birmingham Phoenix: Shaheen Afridi, Thea Brookes, Chris Cooke, Gwen Davies, Liam Livingstone, Isabelle Wong, Kane Williamson.

London Spirit: Charlie Dean, Mason Crane, Freya Davies, Joe Denly, Hannah Jones, Glenn Maxwell, Sophie Munro, Roelof Van Der Merwe, Mark Wood.

Manchester Originals:
Georgie Boyce, Natalie Brown, Ellie Threlkeld, Alex Hartley, Emma Lamb, Wayne Madsen, Matt Parkinson.

Northern Superchargers: Aaron Finch, Beth Langston, Brydon Carse, Chris Lynn, John Simpson, Linsey Smith, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

Oval Invincibles: Sam Billings, Sarah Bryce, Alice Capsey, Laurie Evans, Jo Gardner, Will Jacks, Sandeep Lamichhane, Dane Van Niekerk.

Southern Brave: Amelia Kerr, Fi Morris, Craig Overton, Andre Russell, Marcus Stoinis, Ross Whiteley.

Trent Rockets: Nathan Coulter-Nile, Ben Cox, Lewis Gregory, Nancy Harman, Lucy Higham, D’Arcy Short, Luke Wood, Luke Wright.

Welsh Fire: Qais Ahmad, Amy Gordon, Ryan Higgins, David Payne, Liam Plunkett.

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