Kagiso Rabada, Shadab Khan and Nicholas Pooran have joined Jos Buttler at the Manchester Originals for The Hundred’s inaugural season.

What is the Hundred?

The Hundred is the first franchise tournament to be played in England.

The tournament is the first hundred ball format of cricket.

With eight city-based franchises, the Hundred aims to bring people from diverse ethnic backgrounds into the game of cricket.

The inaugural tournament was due to start in July 2020. However, it was delayed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Manchester team will play their home games at Emirates Old Trafford.

Manchester Originals will participate in the first game of the tournament, with an away fixture at the Oval Invincibles.

Manchester Originals men’s team

A mixture of strong English talent mixed with world-class overseas talent have made the Originals a really strong outfit on paper.

Australian Simon Katich will coach the Originals side. The Australian outlined to the BBC: “In a 100-ball tournament, bowlers are critical to your success – especially when it comes to decision making when guys start pinging the ball everywhere.”

Overseas signings

The Originals have selected three big overseas signings to complement their domestic players.

Firstly, Pakistani leg-break bowler Shadab Khan joins the Manchester franchise. He has an economy of 7.28 in international T20 cricket. The 22-year-old will be looking to spin the Originals to victory.

Box office bowler Kagiso Rabada will enjoy bowling on England’s quickest wickets at Old Trafford. The South African finished the Indian Premier League as the leading wicket-taker. 30 wickets in 17 games took him second in the MVP list – behind Jofra Archer.

Furthermore, Nicholas Pooran comes into the Originals as a well-travelled superstar of the game. The left-handed wicketkeeper batsman has played franchise cricket all over the world.

Unfortunately, none of the overseas players are available for the entire duration. This is perhaps the Manchester Originals’ biggest downfall, as other franchises have their overseas available for the entire tournament.

Lancashire lads

Lancashire’s Jos Buttler is the face of the Manchester Originals. However, Butller will not be available for the entirety of the competition due to international commitments. Buttler is likely to be part of the England test team in a five match test series against India.

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Fellow Lancashire teammates Matt Parkinson and Richard Gleeson will also appear for the Manchester Originals.

Spinner Parkinson is looking to cement a place in the England T20 squad for the World Cup in the autumn. Ormskirk-born Tom Hartley was the final selection for the Originals. The 22-year-old left-arm spin bowler had a breakthrough season for Lancashire in 2020.

English talent

Somerset youngster Tom Lammondby is the surprise inclusion within the squad. The highly-rated all-rounder had an impressive 2020 for Somerset across all formats. The left-handed bat is impressive on the eye. In 18 T20 games for Somerset, he has a strike-rate of 160 (160 runs per 100 balls).

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Old Trafford is renowned for producing quick wickets, so the Originals have recruited seasoned franchise seam option Harry Gurney. The Nottinghamshire left-arm seamer has played in the IPL, as well as international cricket for England.

Alongside Gurney, the Originals have brought in former England seam option Steven Finn and Surrey seamer Jamie Overton, both of whom are very fast bowlers.

Additionally, the recruitment of Overton is for his big-hitting at the end of an innings. Originals Head Coach Katich told the BBC: “We knew we needed some power players at the back end of an innings.”

Phil Salt and Joe Clarke will form the basis of the Originals batting line-up. Both have played franchise cricket around the world, most recently in the Australian Big Bash League of this year.

Veteran Derbyshire batsman Wayne Madsen and Leicestershire all-rounder Colin Ackermann make up the rest of the squad.

A final space in the squad is reserved for a ‘Wildcard’ pick. Each franchise has the spot reserved to pick a player that has performed well in the 18-county strong Vitality Blast that will be played before the Hundred.

Ultimately, the Originals have picked a very strong squad on paper that covers all bases required or the short format of the game.

Manchester Originals Women’s Squad can be found here.

(Main image courtesy of Lancashire County Cricket Club)

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