Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle. (Credits: Twitter)

British sport’s first draft which took place on Sunday (October 20) for next year’s The Hundred threw some big surprises as a number of big names were snubbed by the teams. Chris Gayle not getting overlooked was perhaps the biggest shock of the night as the teams opted for homegrown talent.

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The West Indies star is the most decorated batsman in the history of T20 and has ruled the format across the globe. He is so far the only batsman to score more than 10,000 runs in the shortest format of the game along with hitting 22 hundreds. No other player has scored more than 8 tons in the T20s.

But his impressive stats made little difference as he ended up being one of three players from the Hundred’s top £125,000 price bracket along with Lasith Malinga and Kagiso Rabada to miss out on a contract. Two of the three Australians in the top £125,000 tier Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc were picked by Welsh Fire. On the other hand, David Warner will play alongside Jofra Archer for Southern Brave.

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Meanwhile, Trent Rockets had Afghanistan star Rashid Khan as their opening pick. West Indies international Andre Russell and Australia one-day captain Aaron Finch were the first choices of Southern Brave and Northern Superchargers respectively.

Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan (Credits: Twitter)

England’s young talent, nonetheless, were the biggest winners of the night.  Lancashire’s Liam Livingstone was picked up by Birmingham Phoenix for £125,000, more than double his reserve price of £60,000. On the other hand, Phil Salt, the uncapped Sussex opening batsman, and Somerset captain Tom Abell were picked by Manchester Originals for £100,000 apiece.

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Talking about some big omission, the likes of Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Trent Boult did not get picked either. Question marks over availability led to Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan and South Africa stars Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis missing out on places.