Play­ers can move teams be­fore the Hun­dred starts

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By Tim Wig­more

Eng­land’s top play­ers may switch teams be­fore the in­au­gu­ral sea­son of the Hun­dred be­gins next year.

At the Hun­dred draft last Oc­to­ber, each of the eight sides re­ceived one cen­trally con­tracted player. But with the con­tracts chang­ing ev­ery year, teams who drafted some­one who does not re­tain his – as is likely to be the case with Jonny Bairstow, re­cruited by Welsh Fire – face hav­ing to ne­go­ti­ate with the player or risk los­ing him to another side.

The 10 Kol­pak crick­eters in­cluded will have to sign as over­seas play­ers – re­plac­ing over­seas play­ers al­ready signed – or face los­ing their berths. Kol­paks will not be per­mit­ted in English cricket af­ter the 2020 sea­son. The Eng­land and Wales Cricket Board has de­cided against an in­crease in over­seas play­ers from three per team.

The ECB has de­cided that teams can re­tain as many play­ers as they like dur­ing a win­dow that will run from next month un­til Jan­uary, but teams who may not have been happy with their drafts will not be obliged to re­tain any play­ers.

New salary bands all in­volve a re­duc­tion of 20 per cent – the top band is down from £125,000 to £100,000. The changes should save the ECB £1.6 mil­lion a year.

As play­ers will be free to rene­go­ti­ate con­tracts, some may at­tempt to re-en­ter the slimmed-down draft. For in­stance, Dawid Malan was signed for £40,000 but, as the topranked Twenty20 bats­man in the world, would now hope to be signed much ear­lier than a team’s 11th pick, as he was for Trent Rock­ets.

Another com­pli­ca­tion will be play­ers who earn cen­tral con­tracts, but did not pre­vi­ously have them. For in­stance, Zak Craw­ley was signed by Lon­don Spirit for £40,000 in the draft, but will be in Eng­land’s next batch of cen­tral con­tracts. This will mean that Lon­don Spirit have to de­cide which cen­trally con­tracted player – ei­ther Craw­ley or Rory Burns – they re­tain.

Dur­ing the draft it­self, teams will have a “right to match” op­tion, al­low­ing them to re­tain play­ers con­tracted for 2020, but re­leased into the 2021 draft, for the same price as a new team signs them should they have an avail­able slot.

In the women’s com­pe­ti­tion, teams will be able to rollover their 2020 con­tracts for all play­ers. Any not re­tained will then be signed in an open-mar­ket sys­tem.

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