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Du Plessis, Van Niekerk among overseas stars to register for Hundred

Australia’s Glenn Maxwell and South African Faf du Plessis were among several overseas stars announced on Tuesday to have signed up for the 2022 edition of England’s cricket’s the Hundred.

The second season of the eight-team, 100-ball-per-side tournament will also feature some of the world’s leading female players in Australia’s Ellyse Perry and Alyssa Healy, India’s Smriti Mandhana and South Africa’s Lizelle Lee.

English fast bowler Jofra Archer, who is currently sidelined with an elbow injury that forced him to miss the entire inaugural tournament last year, is about to make his comeback in senior cricket with the reigning men’s champions Southern Brave.

Archer will be joined by Australian Marcus Stoinis during the Brave.

Former South Africa captain Du Plessis is with Northern Superchargers after being unable to play for the team last year due to a concussion.

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All-rounder Perry and New Zealand captain Sophie Devine will both remain in Birmingham Phoenix, with wicketkeeper and opener Healy joining the Northern Superchargers and Indian stroke player Mandhana signing for the Southern Brave.

Leg spinner Rashid Khan from Afghanistan has returned to the Trent Bridge Rockets.

The coronavirus pandemic and a crowded international schedule caused several foreign stars contracted for the first season of the Hundred to withdraw.

However, teams had the option to keep the originally selected teams even if they withdrew in 2021 meaning all-rounder Maxwell has stayed with London Spirit, whose finish at the bottom of the table meant they got the first draft pick to fill. the remaining slots on March 30.

The Lord-based Spirit has six vacancies to fill a 16-man squad, with most teams keeping most of their existing squad.

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England captain Eoin Morgan, who skippered the Spirit in 2021, said: “The Hundred’s first year was a huge success. We saw quality cricket before incredible crowds.

“We are delighted to have the first choice of design. We hope to add strength and depth to our squad. We can’t wait to see who’s available to pick up.”

The reigning women’s champions Oval Invincibles have retained last year’s captain and most valuable player, South Africa’s Dane van Niekerk, as well as 2021’s star Alice Capsey.

For the first time, both men’s and women’s teams will be able to select an additional fourth foreign player in a wildcard draw in June, although teams can still only draft three foreign players in their XI.

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