The ECB have confirmed how the draft process for the inaugural edition of The Hundred, delayed to 2021, will work.
While a televised draft, the first of it’s kind in British sport, took place in 2019 ahead of the 2020 summer to select the men’s teams, there has been speculation over how the squads would be allowed to change ahead of 2021, with the Covid-19 pandemic forcing the postponement of what should have been the maiden season of the controversial competition.
The main takeaways are that teams will be allowed to retain as many or as few players from their 2020 squads as they wish, with players allowed to move up and down salary bands as a result of their negotiations. All men’s salary bands have been reduced by 20 per cent, a pay cut agreed by the PCA and the ECB to mitigate the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Each team will also have the use of one ‘Right to Match’ option during the draft, where they can sign back a player released by them after they have been selected by another team, if they have a slot available in their squad.
The women’s teams will once again be selected in an open-market system, with all players able to roll over their 2020 contracts if they wish.
How were The Hundred squads selected in 2020?
Each team ended with a squad of 15 players. Among each 15 was one England red-ball contracted player, two local icon players and 12 drafted players. Teams were permitted a maximum of three overseas players.
How will The Hundred squads be selected in 2021?
This is a three-step process:
- Stage 1: England player allocation
- Stage 2: The player retention window
- Stage 3: The Hundred draft 2021
Stage one: England player allocation
Players from the 2020/21 England red-ball contract list will fit into one of four categories:
- An England player who was centrally contracted in 2019/20 and will be again in 2020/21 can be retained by their 2020 team.
- An England contracted player in 2019/20, who is not given a contract in 2020/21, can negotiate with their 2020 team for a position in 2021. If no agreement is made, they will be released to the draft.
- A player drafted by a team in The Hundred who was not England contracted in 2019/20, but is contracted in 2020/21 can be retained by their team for 2021. However, the team’s other England player must be released to the ‘England pot’ (More on the ‘England pot’ in a minute).
- A player not drafted by a team in The Hundred who wasn’t England contracted in 2019/20, but is in 2020/21 will go straight into the ‘England pot’.
England players will be able to once again withdraw from team selection. In the 2020 squads, this applied to James Anderson and Stuart Broad.
If there are eight eligible contracted players, all teams will have one player.
If there are more than eight eligible contracted players, some teams will have more than one player. No team will have more than two players.
Once teams have retained/released players, any teams without an England player need one. They will select a player from the ‘England pot’ until all teams have one player. This will be done in a draw order.
If there are more than eight eligible contracted players, a new draw will be made to select the remaining player(s).
Stage two: The retention window
Teams in The Hundred start with their 2020 squad lists. From this they can negotiate to retain any or all of their players for 2021. A maximum of three overseas players are permitted. With many players on Kolpak deals set to become overseas players from 2021 onwards, teams will face tough decisions over how to cut down to three overseas players. This may well mean more English-qualified players get picked up ahead of the 2021 edition of The Hundred.
Players can move up or down the squad list in terms of salary bracket.
New salary bands for 2021
Round 1: £100,000
Round 2: £80,000
Round 3: £60,000
Round 4: £48,000
Round 5: £40,000
Round 6: £32,000
Round 7: £24,000
Negotiations may take place during a retention window between October 2020 and January 2021. Any player who has not agreed terms by the end of the retention window is automatically released.
Only players contracted to a team for 2020 will be able to sign contracts during the retention window.
Stage three: The Hundred draft 2021
At the end of the retention window, The Hundred will publish the final retained player list. This will highlight slots available to teams for the 2021 draft.
If only one player is retained in a salary band, the higher slot in that band will be left open for the draft.
A draw for the picking order of the draft will take place after the retention window.
Each team will have a ‘Right to Match’ option. This will apply to players contracted for 2020, but released into the 2021 draft pool. If a new team wishes to sign that player, his 2020 team may stop this by guaranteeing him the same salary band. Each team may only do this once, and only if they have an available slot in their squad list at that salary band.
What happens after The Hundred draft 2021?
Each team have the opportunity for a final ‘wildcard’ pick. This will be chosen before the 2021 season of The Hundred begins. A wildcard player will receive the lowest salary band.