England stars Danni Wyatt and Anya Shrubsole were the first names to be announced for the Southern Brave women’s side when The Hundred team identities were revealed on Thursday and head coach Charlotte Edwards can’t wait to start working with them.
While the men’s competition sees players selected through a draft system, with local icons James Vince and Chris Jordan pre-selected by the Brave, the women’s teams are now able to openly negotiate contracts with players, giving the player the final say on where they end up.
Shrubsole will spearhead the Brave’s bowling lineup in the inaugural competition next summer, with livewire opening batter Wyatt joining her as the team’s selections of the centrally-contracted England players.
“They’re brilliant cricketers first and foremost,” Edwards said of her new signings.
“Anya is one of the best bowlers in the world and Danni is one of the best batters in the world. I went for two of the best players and thankfully they decided they want to come and play down here.
“Danni has shown in the past couple of years that she’s one of the most destructive batters we have in England, and hopefully she’ll carry that on to The Hundred. She’s such a good fielder and a great girl.
Each of the eight women’s teams in The Hundred can now finalise negotiations to fill the remaining 13 places in their squads, including the option of three overseas players.
It’s the first time the women’s game has seen such an open-market system in this country, and it will certainly pose some dilemmas for the coaches.
Edwards, though, is clear on the kind of squad she wants to assemble.
“I’m conscious about keeping this team very southern based and not going outside the area too much,” she said.
“What has been so successful about the Southern Vipers is that we’ve kept a really good group of players together. I’ve formed strong relationships with the players and I think they really like playing down here.
“I want to get the blend of youth and experience and it’s about getting the right people – you can have the best players but if they’re not the right fit for the group, or don’t have the same values as me as the coach, then we’ll be going in the wrong direction.”
The Hundred starts in July 2020 with five weeks of action-packed cricket, and Southern Brave's women's side will be playing at The 1st Central County Ground. Visit www.thehundred.com to register your interest.