Manchester Originals selected South-African spinner Imran Tahir as their £125k first pick in the inaugural edition of The Hundred Draft, while Birmingham Phoenix claimed Lancashire player Liam Livingstone.
The Old Trafford-based side entered draft having already secured the services of wicket keeper Jos Buttler, paceman Saqib Mahmood and leg spinner Matt Parkinson.
Despite the variety of local talent already secured, Originals surprised many by initially adding another spin option in Tahir rather than opting for top-order batsmen.
Meanwhile, the Manchester Originals selection team, including men’s head coach Simon Katich, were forced to look elsewhere after local batsman Liam Livingstone was selected first by Phoenix.
With a distinct gap in their batting order, Originals turned to experienced Lancs captain Dane Vilas for their second pick, who may prove a shrewd choice as back-up keeper should Jos Buttler be injured or on international duty.
This was quickly reinforced by selections of aggressive Sussex opener Phil Salt and Somerset’s Tom Abell in the 100k category. The latter impressed during this year’s T20 Blast alongside Tom Banton and Babar Azam, scoring his maiden T20 century against Middlesex.
International all-rounders Mitchell Santner and Dan Christian filled the quota for three overseas players and bolster the middle order, while pace bowlers Wayne Parnell and Marchant de Lange were added for 50k and 40k respectively.
Towards the end of the draft, Mancheter Originals will hope to have made perceptive choices in batsmen Eddie Byrom, Joe Clarke and Ed Pollock.
Pollock in particular, could prove to be an asset, despite being dropped by Birmingham Bears during this summer’s T20 Blast for consecutive low scores. The destructive batsmen has a penchant for starting quickly – with a strike rate of 169.16 in his first ten balls – an attribute to encouraged given the even shorter format and the 25-ball Powerplay.
Other noticeable selections include Rashid Khan for Trent Rockets, while Andre Russell will join Jofra Archer at Southern Brave. Big-hitter Chris Gayle is a shock omission, though stars Steve Smith and Kane Williamson have also been chosen for Welsh Fire and Birmingham Phoenix respectively.
Despite the array on International talent on display in The Hundred, Manchester Originals will be pleased with the balance in their side, and will hope to be a major player in next summer’s five-week competition.
Photo by Aravindan Premkumar, under Creative Commons License