Five play­ers who could be in de­mand

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

Ravi Bopara

His re­luc­tant rein­ven­tion as a fin­isher

– in his past five T20s, Bopara has scored 219 runs for once out – helped Es­sex win the T20 Blast, though he has since moved to Sus­sex, and makes him one of the most at­trac­tive English play­ers in the draft.

Steve Smith

Smith’s ex­tra­or­di­nary Ashes se­ries reaf­firmed his Test bril­liance, but his T20 record is less stel­lar. With the im­por­tance of wick­ets re­duced in the Hun­dred and a re­serve price of £125,000, it is not in­con­ceiv­able Smith will be left un­drafted.

Chris Gayle

With 22 T20 cen­turies – no one else has more than eight – the for­mat seems tai­lor-made for Gayle. Yet the West Indies bats­man will be al­most 41 by the time the first com­pe­ti­tion fin­ishes so teams may con­sider bet­ter value lies else­where.

An­dre Rus­sell

With his cock­tail of bru­tal hit­ting, canny bowl­ing and elec­tric field­ing, Rus­sell has a strong claim to be­ing the MVP in T20 cricket. His pen­chant for be­gin­ning his in­nings with great haste should suit the Hun­dred equally well.

Mitchell Starc

The very ways in which the Hun­dred seems geared to­wards bats­men makes the best bowlers even more valu­able. As bowlers are al­lowed to bowl

10 balls straight, Starc – the world’s best death bowler

– would be ideal to close out an in­nings.

Blun­der: Gary Kirsten fell foul of so­cial me­dia last night when he for­got to in­sert the name of his Hun­dred team, Welsh Fire, while pro­mot­ing to­mor­row’s draft

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