Top Australian cricketers David Warner and Marcus Stoinis have withdrawn from the inaugural edition of The Hundred, a professional franchise-based 100-ball cricket tournament organised by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
Both Warner and Stoinis were contracted by Southern Brave franchise for 100,000 and 80,000 pounds respectively.
“It is obviously disappointing to lose players with the ability of David and Marcus, but the realities of Covid mean there are practicalities that are difficult for some overseas players to overcome,” the ECB told ESPNcricinfo through a statement.
“Replacement overseas players will be signed by Southern Brave, and we look forward to the Hundred showcasing world-class cricket this summer,” it added.
Significantly, both Warner and Stoinis are part of the 23-member preliminary squad picked for the Windies and Bangladesh tours however, the duo along with Pat Cummins, Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell are expected to skip the national duties having having spent a considerable amount of time in bio-secure environment since past few months.
Meanwhile, New Zealand woman cricketer Sophie Devine, who was to feature for Birmingham Phoenix, has too, pulled out of the tournament.
The first season of the tournament is scheduled to be held from July 21 and was expected to attract a number of cricketing stars from across the globe.