Smith or Starc set to miss out on £100,000 contract in the Hundred

Steve Smith or Mitchell Starc set to miss out on £100,000 contract in the Hundred after Welsh Fire offer top deal to Jonny Bairstow following England contract snub

  • Aussie pair were selected by Welsh Fire in the top bracket of the original draft 
  • Change in Bairstow’s status has left them facing significant cuts in salary
  • Loss of England contract saw the franchise offer a premier slot to Bairstow

There was more bad news for Australia’s cricketers on Tuesday with one of Steve Smith or Mitchell Starc set to lose their £100,000 contracts at the Hundred this summer.

The pair were selected by Welsh Fire in the top bracket of the original draft for the ECB’s delayed 100-ball competition but the change in Jonny Bairstow’s status over the past 15 months has left them facing significant cuts in salary or not being involved at all.

Bairstow was in the 15-man squad as the Fire’s designated England player but the loss of his central contract saw them offer one of their premier slots to keep him.

Steve Smith or Mitchell Starc set to lose their £100,000 contracts at the Hundred this summer

It means the Aussies face a drop from the £125,000 deal sealed in October 2019 to £80,000 — the new price for round-two picks after the ECB slashed all wage brackets by 20 per cent as one of their Covid-induced austerity measures last summer – if they participate.

Their availability could be restricted, too, with Australia in the Caribbean for a white-ball tour until July 26, five days after the Hundred’s proposed new start date following the decision to postpone it in 2020.

The five-match Twenty20 series versus West Indies finishes on July 16 but Australia are likely to take just one squad for both formats if coronavirus bubble protocols still apply, suggesting all players will be required for the full trip.

There has also been the issue of possible quarantines for the eight teams to consider when negotiating with overseas talent during a retention window that remains open until February 4.

Starc was selected in the top bracket of the draft for the ECB’s delayed 100-ball competition

It is anticipated that between 25-30 places will be free at next month’s re-draft with Manchester Originals set to have the most openings.

Sportsmail understands the Originals initially offered just six player retentions, none of which were overseas trio Dan Christian, Imran Tahir and Mitchell Santner.

With the ECB keen to attract as many big names as possible in a bid to give the tournament at the heart of their future plans global projection, veteran Chris Gayle is among a strong West Indian contingent hoping to add stardust along with Kieron Pollard and Nicholas Pooran. Interest has been shown in all three.

Bargain imports snapped up outside the top three salary brackets — such as Christian, his fellow Australian Adam Zampa, Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi, Afghanistan leg-spinner Qais Ahmed, West Indies’ Fabian Allen and Santner — were a feature of the first draft.

Jonny Bairstow was in the 15-man squad as the Fire’s designated England player

However, such clever recruiting does not necessarily align with the Hundred’s marketing plans.

Also among the two dozen announced as staying with their teams yesterday was Bairstow’s opening partner in England’s 50-over team, Jason Roy.

He will be joined at Oval Invincibles by seasoned T20 star Sunil Narine while across the capital at London Spirit both Mohammad Nabi, the Afghanistan all-rounder, and Pakistan left-armer Mohammad Amir remain in place.

Dawid Malan, a £40,000 snip who has gone on to become the world’s No 1 Twenty20 batsman, has re-negotiated at Trent Rockets while Tom Banton and Ben Duckett have kept their second and third-tier slots respectively with the Welsh team. 




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