West Indies white-ball captain Kieron Pollard has been snapped up by London Spirit as their number one pick for the second edition of the Hundred starting in August.
The 34-year-old is one of four former and current West Indies stars selected at the top price of £125,000 (US$163,440), with all-rounder Andre Russell headed to the Manchester Originals, off-spinner Sunil Narine returning to Oval Invincibles and retired Twenty20 star Dwayne Bravo picked up by Northern Supercharges.
However, there are fears Pollard might miss the majority of the August 3 to September 3 campaign due to international commitments and Caribbean Premier League obligations. A big-hitting right-hander who bowls deceptive slow medium, Pollard has played 123 ODIs and nearly 600 T20 games across the international and franchise sphere.
The Hundred’s managing director, Sanjay Patel, said the likes of Pollard would bring a strong international flavour to the competition.
“With a host of star players confirmed, The Hundred will have fans on the edge of their seats with world-class sport, as well as bringing more family-friendly entertainment off the pitch,” he said.
“It’s great to see a mix of new overseas stars like Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell alongside returning stars such as Quinton de Kock and Sunil Narine. It is also brilliant that some of the best domestic white ballplayers including Tom Banton and Joe Clarke have been recognised and picked up early.”
Pollard, Russell, Narine and Bravo are all currently campaigning in the Indian Premier League. Rising batting star Nicholas Pooran surprisingly went untouched in the draft which took place behind closed doors on Monday but the results of which were announced yesterday.
Veteran former West Indies batter Chris Gayle was also ignored along with the likes of Australian David Warner and Pakistan maestro Babar Azam.
Jacob Bethell, who left Barbados at age 12 for England and recently turned out for the country at the Under-19 World Cup in the Caribbean, was signed by Welsh Fire for 30 000 British pounds sterling. Barbados-born England stars Jofra Archer and Chris Jordan will both turn out for Southern Brave.