London [UK], June 11 (ANI): Australia opener David Warner and all-rounder Marcus Stoinis have withdrawn from the inaugural edition of The Hundred. They were set to play for Southern Brave. While these two are top T20 players, it is believed that there could be further withdrawals due to the players' international commitments as well as the travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It is obviously disappointing to lose players with the ability of David and Marcus, but the realities of Covid mean there are practicalities that are difficult for some overseas players to overcome," the ECB said in a statement to ESPNcricinfo. "Replacement overseas players will be signed by Southern Brave, and we look forward to the Hundred showcasing world-class cricket this summer."
Meanwhile, five Indian women cricketers -- Shafali Verma, Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur, Jemimah Rodrigues, and Deepti Sharma -- will be seen in action in the inaugural edition of The Hundred.
Shafali is the number one ranked short-form batter and she joins Birmingham Phoenix as a replacement for Sophie Devine. Harmanpreet Kaur will star in the opening match, at the Kia Oval on July 21, as she joins Manchester Originals. Jemimah Rodrigues will feature for Northern Superchargers.
"It's very exciting that I'm going to get to play in the first-ever game of The Hundred," Harmanpreet Kaur said in an official release issued by The Hundred.
"It will be special to make history, especially with a women's match at such a big ground. We've played in front of some large crowds in India and it's always a great experience for the players," she added.
Smriti Mandhana is set to form a devastating opening partnership with Danni Wyatt at Southern Brave, while Deepti Sharma joins England captain Heather Knight at London Spirit.
Beth Barrett-Wild, Head of the Hundred Women's competition said: "It's so good to finally be able to confirm the involvement of some of the superstars from the India team. They're a hugely exciting group of players and they'll bring a lot to the competition. I can't wait for July 21, I can't wait for the whole competition, and I can't wait for fans to see these world-class players doing what they do best."
The Hundred, which is an ECB brainchild, will feature eight teams taking on each other. The first match in the competition will be played between the women's teams of Oval Invincibles and Manchester Originals on July 21.
The Hundred is a 100-ball cricket competition that will see prominent players (both men and women) featuring in the tournament in the English summer. (ANI)