The Hundred: Banton, Clarke, Dawson, Evans set for draft return

Tim David signs £50,000 Southern Brave deal as teams finalise retentions

Matt Roller
Matt Roller
Joe Clarke and Tom Banton have not been retained  •  PA Photos/Getty Images

Joe Clarke and Tom Banton have not been retained  •  PA Photos/Getty Images

Tom Banton, Joe Clarke, Liam Dawson and Laurie Evans are among the English players set to be available in the Hundred draft on March 30 after failing to agree retentions with their respective teams, ESPNcricinfo understands.
Tim David, who was signed by Mumbai Indians for INR 8.25 crore (£810,000 approx.) at last weekend's IPL auction, has been retained for just £50,000 by Southern Brave, while Andre Russell and Kagiso Rabada are among the biggest overseas names set to be available in the draft.
Men's teams have been negotiating with players and their representatives since December 1 and had the option to retain up to 10 players who held contracts at any stage for the inaugural season in 2021. The retention window closes on Wednesday and signings will be confirmed officially by the ECB next week.
Men's wages have increased by 25% across each salary band, but coaches and general managers struggled to fit every player they wanted to retain into their draft grid, which sees a maximum of two players paid the same wage in any given squad.
Many of the players who have been released were offered contracts by teams but turned them down. Some are looking for a new team after a lack of opportunities last season, while others will hope to earn a higher salary, taking advantage of the uncertainty around overseas players' availability and the resulting demand for domestic players.
Each team will be allowed to use one right-to-match (RTM) card at the draft, which can be used to re-sign a player from their 2021 squad, so long as they can match the salary for which another team has tried to sign them. Picks will be made in reverse order of finishing position, with London Spirit picking first and Southern Brave last.
The availability of overseas players has been a major stumbling block, with continued uncertainty over the Future Tours Programme. India's tour to West Indies, Afghanistan's to Ireland, Pakistan's to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh's to Zimbabwe are all due to overlap in part while South Africa's Test series in England is due to start halfway through. The Hundred runs from August 3 to September 3 with the women's competition starting on August 11.
Australia are also due to play a limited-overs series against Zimbabwe at the end of August - though they may well field a weakened side - while the Caribbean Premier League and the Asia Cup could clash with the knockout stages. As a result, most teams have released several overseas players. Teams are allowed three overseas players in both their squad and their playing XI.
Changes to England's central contracts list have opened up free spots for some teams, with Mark Wood, Jonny Bairstow, Zak Crawley and Dawid Malan among the players who will be allocated centrally by the ECB rather than paid directly through the draft mechanism. The four players on white-ball-only contracts - Moeen Ali, Eoin Morgan, Adil Rashid and Jason Roy - will still be paid through the draft and have all been retained.

Southern Brave

The defending champions have retained most of the squad that took them to the title last year. Tymal Mills, Jake Lintott, George Garton and Alex Davies have all earned pay rises while Chris Jordan rejected the promise of a lucrative offer in the draft from elsewhere in order to stay put.
James Vince will continue as captain but Liam Dawson, Danny Briggs and Delray Rawlins have all been released. With Jofra Archer unlikely to play much Test cricket this summer as the ECB manage his return from a long-term elbow injury, he could be available for most of the season.
David only played twice in 2021, scoring 15 off 6 balls and running Liam Livingstone out in the final, but has been retained on the cheap after his remarkable form around the world. Marcus Stoinis, who missed the inaugural season, has also been retained and while Quinton de Kock has been released, multiple sources suggested Brave, who have the last first-round pick, will use their RTM card if another team tries to sign him ahead of them in the first round of the draft.

Birmingham Phoenix

Phoenix topped the group-stage table in 2021, thanks in no small part to their decision to pick Liam Livingstone in the first round of the inaugural draft in 2019. He has been retained for next season, along with the core of last season's squad which included Moeen Ali, Will Smeed and Benny Howell.
Shaheen Shah Afridi was unavailable in 2021 and may be again this season but could be retained if Phoenix look to secure him for future seasons, while Tom Helm, Adam Hose and Dillon Pennington have been released. Tom Abell's future is unclear but he has attracted interest from other teams and was disappointed to be left out of the side for last season's final.

Trent Rockets

Lewis Gregory struggled with the bat and had his bowling contributions limited by a back injury last season but has been retained and is likely to continue as captain. The majority of Rockets' Nottinghamshire core - including Alex Hales, Steven Mullaney, Tom Moores and Matthew Carter - have been retained, while Rashid Khan will be retained as an overseas player despite uncertainty over his availability.
Luke Wood has been retained and Marchant de Lange will return as an overseas player, but Timm van der Gugten, Luke Wright, D'Arcy Short and Ben Cox are all expected to leave. Multiple sources suggested that Rockets will aim to sign Joe Clarke early on in the draft if he is available but he could be taken before their first pick.

Oval Invincibles

They missed out on the knockout stages by a single point last year and the feeling among players and staff was that they had underperformed given the strength of their squad. As a result, the majority have been retained and the main focus at the draft will be securing cheaper overseas players who are available for the full season. Sunil Narine could be released but would likely be bought back in the draft if he is.
Will Jacks was initially expected to re-enter the draft but now looks set to be retained, while Laurie Evans - who was offered an improved deal after impressing in the Big Bash - is due to be released. Jordan Cox, a wildcard last season, has been retained after starring in the Blast for Kent while Tom Curran, Saqib Mahmood and Reece Topley are all staying put.

Northern Superchargers

James Foster was appointed as coach only last week and has been at the PSL as Peshawar Zalmi's head coach. As a result, general manager Andy Dawson and head of cricket Marcus North have been handling retentions over the winter and were involved in last-minute talks this week.
Harry Brook, Adil Rashid, Matthew Potts and Callum Parkinson have all been retained but several others including Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Ben Raine and Matthew Fisher are likely to be available in the draft. Olly Stone, who missed last season with a stress fracture, is set to be released while Jordan Thompson, Adam Lyth and David Willey were still weighing up their options as the deadline approached.
Hassan Cheema, who has joined as analyst, has built ultra-attacking batting line-ups at Islamabad United and Team Abu Dhabi and may look to replicate that formula at Superchargers. Faf du Plessis, who was ruled out of the first season due to concussion symptoms, could return as captain.

Manchester Originals

Joe Clarke is set to return to the draft and seems likely to earn a top-bracket deal with several teams interested in signing him. Phil Salt, their other explosive young top-order batter, is expected to stay put while Jos Buttler is likely to be available for the whole season, barring a Test recall.
Jamie Overton and Wayne Madsen both missed last season through injury but have been retained. Matt Parkinson was surprisingly linked with a move away early in the retention window but has signed a new deal while Steven Finn and Sam Hain have both been released.

Welsh Fire

Ben Duckett captained the side for most of last season after Jonny Bairstow's Test recall and has been convinced to stay put, with Jake Ball, David Payne, Leus du Plooy, Ryan Higgins and Matt Critchley also set to be retained.
Bairstow moves into the centrally-contracted category again, freeing up a top-bracket spot for the draft, while Tom Banton, Ian Cockbain, Luke Fletcher, Graeme White and Matt Milnes have been released. Fire are expected to start from scratch with their overseas signings and will have the second pick in the draft.

London Spirit

Spirit finished rock bottom in the first season and have unsurprisingly had a clear-out of their squad as a result. Eoin Morgan stays on as captain while Brad Wheal, Blake Cullen, Adam Rossington and Mason Crane are all retained but the majority of their team-mates - including Chris Wood, Luis Reece and Joe Denly - have been released.
Shane Warne raised the possibility of recruiting both Mitchell Starc and Cameron Green while commentating for Fox during the Ashes but Andre Russell is likely to be their first pick of the draft if he puts his name forward.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98