Top Australian players may miss all or part of the inaugural edition of The Hundred owing to a potential clash with internationals against Zimbabwe.
Australia are scheduled to host Zimbabwe for three ODIs in June according to the Future Tours Programme. However, local media reported that these may be pushed to July, potentially after a limited-overs series in England. If so, they will clash with the high-profile 100-ball competition starting on July 17 and players including Steve Smith and David Warner might be asked to turn up for international duty instead.
Ten cricketers from Australia were among the overseas players picked in The Hundred draft in October. These are: D’Arcy Short, Nathan Coulter-Nile (Trent Rockets), Glenn Maxwell (London Spirit), Aaron Finch, Chris Lynn (Northern Superchargers), Daniel Christian (Manchester Originals), Warner (Southern Brave), Mitchell Starc, Steve Smith (Welsh Fire) and Adam Zampa (Birmingham Phoenix). Of them, Smith, Warner, Starc, Finch and Zampa are regulars in the ODI side, with Short and Maxwell also in the mix.
? THE HUNDRED 2020 FIXTURES ?
Oval Invincibles will take on Welsh Fire in the first ever match of the tournament!
The full schedule ?https://t.co/MUYloNVLi2
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) November 26, 2019
Unlike the players, their assistant coach Andrew McDonald is clear about the choice he will make. McDonald, Justin Langer’s deputy with Australia, is coach of the Birmingham-based side in The Hundred, and is determined to honour his commitment.
“When we sat down Cricket Australia were fully aware that I’ve got those commitments and we’ve already worked through all of that,” the Herald Sun quoted him as saying. “There’s no issue from our point of view. I’ll be doing the Birmingham Phoenix job during that period of time.”
McDonald, who will take charge in Langer’s absence for the ODI tour of India, and will also coach the Smith-led Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, believed his stints in the T20 competitions will only help Australia in a T20 World Cup year.
“The big thing, in particular coming into two T20 World Cups [in 2020 and 2021], is that when you go outside and environment you can bring ideas back in,” he said. “It’s a real positive that you can bring those ideas back in and potentially help the growth of players in the Australian community.”