ISLAMABAD: Pakistans batsman Babar Azam and former all-rounder Shahid Afridi have been included in the inaugural The Hundred player draft scheduled to take place on Oct 20.

The upcoming 100-ball English tournament would be played among eight city-based teams, and will take place next year from July 17 to Aug 16. The eight participating teams will be based in London (two teams), Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, Cardiff and Southampton.

The men’s teams will pick their players through a two-stage draft system.

On Oct 3, the teams will be able to select up to three players for their squad. They have the option of picking at least one England red-ball contracted player and teams with one or more England Test players in their catchment area will be able to pick their preferred player. It is not compulsory for teams to choose a player from their catchment area.

On Oct 20, the remaining places in the 15-man squads will be filled via a full draft, Sports360 reported.

The tournament will see some amazing changes in the game of cricket. The ends will change every 10 balls and bowlers will be allowed to bowl either 5 or 10 balls consecutively and a maximum of 20 balls per game. The power play will be 25 balls for each team. Teams will be able to call timeouts.

West Indies batsman Chris Gayle, England’s Eoin Morgan and Australia’s Steve Smith have made themselves available for the tournament.

Published in Dawn, October 3rd, 2019