Joe Root says he ‘never stood a chance’ of heading up The Hundred’s Leeds-based franchise as long as England teammate Ben Stokes was available.
The Hundred, the ECB’s new 100-ball format was launched on Thursday, with the country’s biggest names on offer ahead of the full player draft later this month.
Each of the eight teams were able to pick one centrally contracted Test player, which posed a dilemma for the Northern Superchargers, who represent Root’s Yorkshire and Stokes’ Durham.
However, they opted for Stokes after his stunning summer during which he gave a remarkable Ashes test-winning innings at Headingley and produced unforgettable heroics at as England won the World Cup on home soil.
Root will instead head to the Nottingham-based Trent Rockets, but he has no hard feelings at all.
“I think anyone that had Stokesy at their disposal, especially off the back of this summer, was on to a winner really,” he said of Stokes.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re Virat Kohli, you’d have struggled to get first choice over Ben.
“It will be nice to see him back at Headingley and I’m sure some fond memories will flood back for him when he’s playing there again.
“It will feel a little bit strange for me, I’ve never had to think about signing for anyone else in county cricket, but I’m excited to be at Trent Bridge – it’s a great ground, a fantastic wicket and there’s short boundaries!”
The Australian’s peak moment at the helm came last year as he shepherded England to their first ever World Cup crown.
Any return would have to be considered in the future with Yorkshire’s players and staff having taken wage cuts due to the pandemic.
The traditional method of spit-polishing to produce movement through the air has been deemed too great a risk of transmitting coronavirus.
The Lancastrian was fresh off some standout displays in the 2003 World Cup.
Hales lost his place in last year’s World Cup-winning squad after news of a second failed test for recreational drugs.
The Warwickshire all-rounder is one on 18 bowlers to be selected for personalised practice.
The West Indies are due to arrive on these shores first this summer.
Broad took part in an individual training session at Trent Bridge.
Clare Connor suggested England are considering hosting a Women’s Tri-Series also involving India and South Africa.