Welsh Fire teams start to take shape following 2022 players draft
The Welsh Fire have swooped to secure the services of Joe Clarke, the only English player to be selected in the first round of the The Hundred draft for the 2022 campaign.
He joins the Fire from Manchester Originals for £125k alongside Somerset and England top-order batter Tom Banton who has re-signed for the coming campaign.
Australia spinner Adam Zampa, South Africa batter David Miller and Pakistan pace bowler Naseem Shah were selected as Welsh Fire’s overseas players.
The Fire’s Women’s team will be captained this summer by England opener Tammy Beaumont, who made the switch from London.
Australia’s Rachael Haynes, who finished the 50-over World Cup as the second-highest run scorer also joins the Welsh side, just days after playing in the World Cup final victory against England.
She is joined in Cardiff by fellow Australian Annabel Sutherland.
Clarke,23, who plays County Cricket for Nottinghamshire was born in Shrewsbury and educated at Ysgol Uwchradd Llanfyllin, a bilingual secondary school situated in Powys.
“To be second pick in the Hundred draft is really quiet something,” Clarke said. “I’m honoured that Welsh Fire have chosen me to join their side.”
Banton, meanwhile faces up to a month on the sidelines after breaking his finger in a warm-up game for Somerset.
He says impressing at The Hundred can be important for England selection, with the T20 World Cup taking place this year and the 50-over World Cup next year: “I think it’s huge. For me I’m not putting too much pressure on myself to be telling myself I have to score runs every game to get into that England team.
“For me it’s if I work hard, the game will respect you and you should do well more times than not.”
World Cup winners
Australia’s World Cup winners dominated selections on the women’s side of the draft with Haynes’ teammates Beth Mooney, Meg Lanning, Alana King and Megan Schutt all in demand.
London Spirit’s men’s team selected West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard with the first pick when the draft took place behind closed doors on Monday, with the results released throughout Tuesday afternoon.
Pollard’s international team-mates Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo were also snapped up for the maximum price, with the all-rounders joining Manchester Originals and Northern Superchargers respectively.
London Spirit’s women swooped for Mooney and Schutt while Trent Rockets signed Australia’s World Cup-winning captain Lanning as well as leg-spinner King, while McGrath has joined Southern Brave.
West Indies star Deandra Dottin made the switch to Manchester Originals from London, with her compatriot Hayley Matthews completing the overseas contingent at Fire.
South Africa wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock was defending champions Southern Brave’s first pick at the top-price mark.
Alongside Russell, the Originals signed English white-ball specialist Laurie Evans and Sri Lanka spinner Wanindu Hasaranga.
Spirit splashed out £125k for England spinner Liam Dawson and £75k for Australian fast bowler Riley Meredith as they remodel their squad after finishing bottom of last season’s standings.
Australia’s T20 World Cup winner Matthew Wade was Birmingham Phoenix’s top-round draft pick, with Kane Richardson taking the final overseas player spot, while Olly Stone was the team’s choice in the second round.
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