Hundred champions Southern Brave retain Jofra Archer ahead of England fast bowler’s comeback from injury

Southern Brave, the men’s winners in the inaugural edition of The Hundred last year, have retained Jofra Archer for the second season as the England fast bowler prepares for his comeback this summer.
Southern Brave captain James Vince lifts the inaugural Hundred silverware last summer. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images.Southern Brave captain James Vince lifts the inaugural Hundred silverware last summer. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images.
Southern Brave captain James Vince lifts the inaugural Hundred silverware last summer. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images.

Archer missed the entirety of the 100-ball competition’s introductory campaign because of elbow trouble that necessitated a second round of surgery in December, but he trained with England in the Caribbean last month.

While Archer’s absence did not hamper the Brave as they went all the way last summer, the Ageas Bowl-based club have kept hold of the 2019 World Cup winner although Hampshire and England all-rounder Liam Dawson has been released.

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Tim David, the Singapore all-rounder who recently fetched a million-dollar bid at the Indian Premier League auction, remains in the Brave’s squad and is one of just seven male overseas players in the retention list.

Brave have retained 11 of last summer’s squad, meaning just four places available for draft picks.

Apart from Archer and David, they have also kept hold of Hampshire skipper James Vince, Tymal Mills, Chris Jordan, Jake Lintott, George Garton, Craig Overton, Ross Whiteley and Alex Davies.

Teams had the option of retaining anyone who had originally been contracted, even if they pulled out last year, and Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis remains with Brave even though he didn’t feature in 2021.

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Brave’s other overseas signings last year were Quinton de Kock, Colin De Grandhomme, Devon Conway and Paul Stirling.

Australia’s former Hampshire all-rounder Glenn Maxwell stays with London Spirit, whose bottom-place finish in 2021 dictates they get the first draft pick to fill the remaining slots on March 30. Like Stoinis, Maxwell didn’t play in last year’s Hundred either.

Despite propping up the table, the Lord’s-based Spirit have only six vacancies to fill among their 16-strong squad as most sides elected to stick with their tried and trusted, with over 150 men’s and women’s players retained. Spirit have retained Hampshire spinner Mason Crane.

The overseas market is likely to be popular in next month’s draft, with several big-name players set to be in the offing, although the international schedule may ultimately dictate availability.

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Welsh Fire have dispensed with England big-hitter Tom Banton while World Cup-winner Liam Plunkett’s retirement from English cricket creates another vacancy as they have seven spots to fill – the most of any of the men’s sides.

Brave women have retained England World Cup winner Anya Shrubsole, and feature the number four ranked T20 International batter Smriti Mandhana who returns to The Ageas Bowl after scoring 167 runs with a best of 78 last year.

Australian leg spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington, Brave’s leading wicket taker in 2021, and the Southern Vipers and England batting powerhouse Maia Bouchier join Shrubsole in the list of 10 players retained.

England batters Danni Wyatt and Sophia Dunkley, fast bowlers Lauren Bell and Tara Norris, all-rounder Paige Scholfield, and wicket-keeper Carla Rudd are also staying.

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Oval Invincibles, the reigning women’s champions, have retained captain and last year’s most valuable player Dane van Niekerk, as well as Mady Villiers and the 2021 breakout star Alice Capsey.

England captain Heather Knight will continue to play for the Spirit but international team-mate Tammy Beaumont has been released, with no limit on the number of players the women’s team could retain.

Lauren Winfield-Hill captained Northern Superchargers last year but has not been retained by the Headingley-based club, while Australia all-rounder Ellyse Perry and New Zealand captain Sophie Devine stay at Birmingham Phoenix.

For the first time, both men’s and women’s sides will be able to select an additional fourth overseas player in a wildcard draft in June – although teams will still only be able to field three in their XI.

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The women’s teams will be finalised through the open market signing process, which concludes at the end of June, giving domestic players plenty of motivation to catch the eye during the Charlotte Edwards Cup.

The men’s squads will be finalised in early July with the domestic Wildcard Draft pick.