Hundred contracts in doubt as Short signs county deal

England officials accept clash with international cricket and travel complexities could lead to more withdrawals from the debut season of The Hundred

D'Arcy Short has signed to play for Hampshire in this year's T20 Blast in England, although his participation in that tournament as well as the inaugural season of The Hundred is dependent on national duties with Australia.

English officials are preparing for the withdrawal of several big-name players for the debut of their new 100-ball competition due to a clash with international cricket and the complexities of travelling during the pandemic.

Hampshire announced the signing of Short on Monday, just hours after he was named in Australia's preliminary squad for their tour of the West Indies in July.

The preliminary rounds of the T20 Blast run from June 9 to July 18, while Short is also one of nine Australian men to have signed on for The Hundred, to be played between July 23 to August 22.

Cricket Australia is in talks with Bangladesh about playing there immediately after the games in the Caribbean, which would stretch the tour into at least the first week of August. Combined with quarantine requirements for entrants to the United Kingdom – Bangladesh is currently on the UK's red list – the addition of a Bangladesh leg of the tour would make it extremely difficult for Australian players to also take part in The Hundred.

Short has fallen out of favour with national selectors in the past 12 months and is no guarantee to make the final squad for the Caribbean tour, which would free him up to complete a full season with both Hampshire and the Trent Rockets in The Hundred.

Glenn Maxwell, David Warner, Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa and Jhye Richardson are the other Australian players with deals in The Hundred who are set to be part of the tours to the Windies and Bangladesh, if the latter goes ahead.

West Indian stars like Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell and Nicholas Pooran may also be prevented from playing in The Hundred due to a clash with white-ball games against Australia (July 10-25) and Pakistan (July 27 to August 3). Pakistan duo Shaheen Afridi and Shadab Khan may also miss out due to Tests against the Windies (August 12-24) that follow the limited-overs games.

Australian women's stars Rachael Haynes and Jess Jonassen have already withdrawn from the women's event due to travel and quarantine complexities and a report in the Evening Standard last weekend said more Australian players are expected to follow.

"The realities of Covid mean there remain practicalities that are difficult for some overseas players to overcome," an ECB spokesperson said this week.

The UK introduced strict border controls in January and quarantine requirements for all entrants differ based on where they are travelling from.

Barbados, the final destination of Australia’s Caribbean tour, is currently on the amber list, which requires entrants to quarantine at home for 10 days upon their arrival in the UK.

Guyana, where the West Indian T20 players would be coming from following the white-ball games against Pakistan, is currently on the red list along with Bangladesh. UK nationals returning from these countries are required to quarantine in a hotel facility for 10 days, while all other entrants from these countries are banned.

However, the ECB has gained permission from the British government for the Indian team to enter the country in early June for their England tour, despite India being on the red list. The Indian squad has also been granted permission to train at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton while quarantining at the venue’s on-site hotel.

Australians in The Hundred

Birmingham Phoenix – Ash Gardner, Ellyse Perry, Adam Zampa, Andrew McDonald (men's head coach), Ben Sawyer (women's head coach)

London Spirit – Glenn Maxwell, Shane Warne (men's head coach)

Manchester Originals – Simon Katich (men's head coach)

Northern Superchargers – Nicola Carey, Aaron Finch, Alyssa Healy, Chris Lynn, Darren Lehmann (men's head coach)

Oval Invincibles –Tom Moody (men's head coach)

Southern Brave – Marcus Stoinis, David Warner

Trent Rockets – Nathan Coulter-Nile, Sophie Molineux, D'Arcy Short, Annabel Sutherland, Elyse Villani

Welsh Fire – Meg Lanning, Beth Mooney, Jhye Richardson, Georgia Wareham, Matthew Mott (women's head coach)

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