The Hundred

Babar Azam unsold in The Hundred – James Anderson surprised

Pakistani Cricketers' Fortune in The Hundred Draft

The Hundred, a relatively new cricket tournament in England, recently concluded its draft for the upcoming edition, set to begin on August 1. While several international stars were snapped up by the eight participating teams, there was disappointment for many Pakistani cricketers.

England bowling legend James Anderson expressed his surprise that Babar Azam, Pakistan’s batting maestro and one of the world’s leading batsmen, went unsold in the draft. Speaking on the BBC’s Tailenders Podcast, Anderson stated that he would have been willing to spend his team’s entire budget just to secure Azam’s services. Anderson’s sentiment is echoed by many cricket enthusiasts around the world, who rate Azam among the finest batsmen in the game today.

The reason for Azam’s omission from the draft is unclear, but limited availability due to Pakistan’s busy cricket schedule is likely a factor. Azam was the most popular choice in a fan poll before the draft, receiving 25% of the votes. Mohammad Rizwan, Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batter and another in-form player, also went unsold due to availability issues.

However, two Pakistani pacers, Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf, were picked up by Welsh Fire in the draft, while Pacer Ihsanullah was selected by Oval Invincibles. Ihsanullah was the player of the tournament in the recently-concluded Pakistan Super League, where he took 22 wickets at an economy rate of 7.59.

In the women’s draft, none of Pakistan’s cricketers were picked by any of the participating teams. The eight players who had signed up for the draft were Diana Baig, Javeria Rauf, Iram Javed, Nida Dar, Fatima Sana, Aroob Shah, Muneeb Siddiqui, and Maham Tariq.

The Hundred is a unique cricket tournament that aims to attract new audiences to the game by simplifying its format and introducing new rules. The tournament consists of eight teams, each with a men’s and women’s squad, and every match lasts just 100 balls per team. The final of the tournament is scheduled to be played on August 27 at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground.

Last year’s men’s tournament was won by Trent Rockets, who defeated Manchester Originals in the championship match. The Oval Invincibles emerged victorious in the women’s competition, defeating Southern Brave in a rematch of the 2021 final.

While there were some disappointments for Pakistani cricketers in The Hundred draft, it is clear that the tournament has the potential to attract top talent from around the world. Fans of the game will be eagerly anticipating the start of the tournament in August and watching the performances of some of the world’s best cricketers.

Pakistan players who had signed up for the draft

Women: Diana Baig, Javeria Rauf, Iram Javed, Nida Dar, Fatima Sana, Aroob Shah, Muneeb Siddiqui and Maham Tariq.

Men: Babar Azam, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Rizwan, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Amir, Fakhar Zaman, Imad Wasim, Muhammad Akhlaq, Abrar Ahmed, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Umar Akmal, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Noman Ali, Salman Ali, Umaid Asif, Saim Ayub, Danish Aziz, Ammad Butt, Shahnawaz Dahani, Sameen Gul, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Hasnain, Muhammad Irfan, Salman Irshad, Ahmed Danyal, Aamir Jamal, Akif Javed, Azam Khan, Haseebullah Khan, Mubasir Khan, Sharjeel Khan, Sajid Khan, Umer Khan, Zaman Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Waqas Maqsood, Shan Masood, Usama Mir, Mohammad Nawaz, Usman Qadir, Rumman Raees, Wahab Riaz, Abdullah Shafique, Khushdil Shah, Yasir Shah, Saud Shakeel, Haris Sohail, Talat Hussain, Imam-ul-Haq, Ihsanullah, Abdul Wahid and Amir Yamin.