Ollie Pope and Rory Burns change teams for The Hundred as player window for 2021 opens

England batsmen Ollie Pope and Rory Burns have changed teams for the inaugural The Hundred on the opening day of the men’s retention window.

Pope has moved from Southern Brave to Welsh Fire, while opener Burns has crossed the capital from London Spirit to join Oval Invincibles at his home ground.

The transfers were confirmed as the England and Wales Cricket Board revealed the identities of the first 18 players to take part in The Hundred in 2021, after the start of the tournament was postponed a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Dom Sibley, awarded an England Men’s Test Central Contract just over a week ago, has joined Birmingham Phoenix.

  • How the 2021 draft for The Hundred will work
  • Graves: why The Hundred is needed
  • Women’s contracts rolled over

In addition to confirming the destination for the Men’s Centrally Contracted players, the ECB has also announced the names of the first eight women’s players to roll over their contracts.

Confirmed players for The Hundred in 2021

Birmingham Phoenix – Amy Jones, Dom Sibley and Chris Woakes

London Spirit – Zak Crawley and Deandra Dottin

Manchester Originals – Jos Buttler and Kate Cross

Northern Superchargers – Ben Stokes and Lauren Winfield-Hill

Oval Invincibles – Rory Burns, Sam Curran and Fran Wilson

Southern Brave – Jofra Archer and Stafanie Taylor

Trent Rockets – Joe Root and Nat Sciver

Welsh Fire – Katie George and Ollie Pope

Pope’s decision to join George at Welsh Fire means the Cardiff outfit now have a space to fill in the men’s draft, which will happen early next year.

Pope, who is recovering from surgery after dislocating his left shoulder during the third Test against Pakistan, said: “I’m incredibly excited to be joining Welsh Fire. The side had a really strong squad lined up and I’m sure they’ll be working hard to retain some of the star names and further strengthen the side in the upcoming draft.

“We have all experienced a year none of us could have predicted but The Hundred promises to be a hugely-exciting competition next year and I can’t wait to take part.”

George added: “We were building a really strong side at Welsh Fire and I’m really pleased to re-sign with them for 2021. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the team falls into place and I’m really looking forward to getting going next summer.

“The Hundred is hugely important to the ongoing growth of the women’s game, from both a performance and profile perspective. As a player I am hugely excited to get to play with and against some of the best cricketers in the world, and I’m sure the fans will get even more excited as more names are confirmed over the next few months.”

Sanjay Patel, managing director for The Hundred, said: “This is a really exciting moment for The Hundred to see where the England Men’s Test Central Contract players will be playing next year and to announce the first wave of re-signed players for the women’s teams.

“Over the next few months we will see world-class players and massive names from around the world committing to The Hundred and we can’t wait to launch the competition in 2021.”

Watch the inaugural edition of The Hundred live on Sky Sports Cricket in 2021.

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