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The Hundred 2021 – Teams set to finalise retentions ahead of draft



Teams in the Hundred will confirm this week which men’s players they have retained from the squads they picked in the competition’s initial draft in October 2019, with the ECB billing Thursday, February 4 as ‘deadline day’.

Following the Hundred’s postponement last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, men’s players who had been selected in the draft have been negotiating with teams, who were given the option of retaining as many players as they wished at a mutually agreed salary band. A number of retentions have already been announced, headlined by Jonny Bairstow staying at Welsh Fire on a top-bracket deal after losing his red-ball central contract.

After the retention window shuts, a mini-draft will be held towards the end of the month in which squads will be finalised – though each team will then add a ‘wildcard’ player to their squad following the T20 Blast’s group stages in July.

It is understood that on account of the logistical challenges posed by Covid, the draft will not be screened live from a studio like it was in 2019 and will instead be held behind closed doors. The ECB have been in discussions with broadcasters about how best to present the draft, and at this stage, it is likely to be staged virtually on Sunday, February 21 – between England’s second and third Tests in India, and after the IPL auction – with the picks in each round expected to be revealed on February 22 or 23.

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