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.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has announced Sean Williams as their new Test cricket team captain while Chamu Chibhabha will lead the limited-overs side. ZC said that the appointments were recommended by former captain and current director of cricket, Hamilton Masakadza.
“The role of captain is an honor and a responsibility which Sean and Chamu thoroughly deserve, both of them being exceptional players and great servants of our game over the years,” said Masakadza.
“I am delighted that they have accepted their new roles, and I extend my congratulations to them and wish them all the best as they help to take Zimbabwe to the next level,” added Masakadza.
Williams has played 179 international matches, whereas Chibhabha has 139 international games to his name. Chibhabha’s last appearance for his side came in 2018 in a T20 match against South Africa.
ZC also announced a two-match Test series against Sri Lanka to be played in Harare this month. The opening Test is scheduled from 19-23 January and the last game from 27-31 January. This will be their first assignment since reinstatement as an ICC member back in October 2019.
“Sri Lanka are always a very competitive team who have been playing well and I am looking forward to the Test series,” said Zimbabwe’s head coach Lalchand Rajput.
“We know our home conditions better; our players are getting match-fit and enjoying some game time. So all we have to do is to get in the middle and perform,” he said. “We have not had much game time, so the players will be very keen and eager to seize this opportunity and do well,” Rajput added.
This article was first published on CricketTimes.com.