The Hundred teams announce changes to overseas players due to challenges of Covid-19 pandemic

Faf du Plessis will replace Aaron Finch as Northern Superchargers men’s captain in The Hundred with all teams announcing replacements to their overseas players due to complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Laura Wolvaardt is also coming in for Alyssa Healy in the Superchargers women’s team.

A number of players have had to withdraw from the inaugural 100-ball competition this summer as a result of the challenges caused by COVID-19 and the rescheduling of various international fixtures, while injury has forced New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson out of the tournament with his countryman Finn Allen taking his place at Birmingham Phoenix.

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Allen is one part of a strong Kiwi contingent set to be involved with Adam Milne also joining the Phoenix as a replacement for Shaheen Afridi, while Colin Munro has signed for Manchester Originals, Rachel Priest replaces Elyse Villani at Trent Rockets and Glenn Phillips will feature for Welsh Fire until Kieron Pollard arrives following his international commitments with the West Indies.

South Africa will also be well represented with Suné Luus joining Welsh Fire and legspinner Imran Tahir signing up at Birmingham Phoenix. Second-ranked women’s IT20 bowler Shabnim Ismail will replace Rachael Haynes at Oval Invincibles.

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Meanwhile, the final 12 domestic slots in the women’s squads have been finalised. Amongst the signings are 2020 Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy final hero, Charlotte Taylor at Southern Brave, 17-year-old Grace Scrivens at London Spirit, and South East Stars leg-spinner Danielle Gregory at Oval Invincibles.

In the men’s competition, Manchester Originals have brought in England seamer Ollie Robinson to replace the retired Harry Gurney and Sam Hain for the injured Wayne Madsen.

Yorkshire’s Jordan Thompson comes in for Northern Superchargers after Olly Stone was ruled out for the season with a back injury and the final replacement before the Vitality Wildcard Draft is Somerset’s Will Smeed in place of the injured Henry Brookes at Birmingham Phoenix.

In addition, Western Storm head coach Mark O’Leary will replace Matthew Mott as head coach of the Welsh Fire women’s squad. Mark will be supported by Lightning head coach Rob Taylor and Leeds/Bradford MCCU head coach Andrew Lawson as assistant coaches.

Northern Superchargers captain Faf du Plessis said: “It is a real honour to lead Northern Superchargers in their first season. Playing alongside the likes of Ben Stokes, Adil Rashid and Chris Lynn alongside a number of talented young players will be really exciting. I can’t wait to get going in a few weeks’ time.”

Oval Invincibles star Shabnim Ismail added: “I’m absolutely buzzing to take part in The Hundred. To play in London will be really special, and I know I speak for all my South African team-mates when I say we are really looking forward to getting over to the UK and making history in the first year of The Hundred.

“In particular, I cannot wait to play in the opening fixture of the whole competition on July 21 at The Kia Oval, and maybe bowling the first ever ball in The Hundred.”

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