A number of the competition’s leading overseas players have already withdrawn due to clashes with the international calendar and travel complications during the Covid-19 pandemic, with the ECB confirming 21 replacements on Friday after ESPNcricinfo revealed a number of pull-outs.
The strong Australian contingent in the women’s competition has been particularly hit, with 10 players and head coach Matthew Mott pulling out of deals. Mott has been replaced by Mark O’Leary, the Western Storm head coach, as Welsh Fire’s coach. New Zealand’s Amelia Kerr has also withdrawn.
Three South Africa women’s players have signed as replacements – Ismail, Wolvaardt and Sune Luus – while several WBBL regulars have also had deals confirmed, including Laura Kimmince, Erin Burns and Amanda-Jade Wellington.
Chris Lynn and Josh Inglis are the only Australian players who will be involved in the men’s competition, following confirmation that Finch and Adam Zampa have joined their international team-mates in withdrawing. Finch’s withdrawal means that Northern Superchargers have replaced him as captain, with du Plessis taking over.
There is a New Zealand flavour to the replacements confirmed, with Colin Munro and Glenn Phillips both confirmed alongside Adam Milne, Finn Allen and Jimmy Neesham, whose deals were previously revealed by ESPNcricinfo.
Sanjay Patel, the competition’s managing director, said: “We know that the ongoing situation with the Covid pandemic and an incredibly busy international schedule has caused significant challenges for a number of international players, but we are delighted with the quality of players who have come in.”
Four replacement domestic players have also been confirmed: Jordan Thompson replaces the injured Olly Stone at Northern Superchargers; Ollie Robinson and Sam Hain come in for the retired Harry Gurney and the injured Wayne Madsen at Manchester Originals; and Will Smeed replaces Henry Brookes at Birmingham Phoenix.
Each of the eight men’s teams will make one further signing on Friday evening in the wildcard draft, with Jake Lintott, Dillon Pennington, Sam Cook and Freddie Klaassen understood to be among the players picked up.
A number of women’s domestic players have also had deals confirmed, including the Southern Vipers offspinner Charlotte Taylor – who has joined Southern Brave – and the Northern Diamonds’ Steere Kalis, who has joined Northern Superchargers.
IN: Adam Milne, Imran Tahir, Finn Allen, Erin Burns, Will Smeed
OUT: Shaheen Shah Afridi, Adam Zampa, Kane Williamson, Ashleigh Gardner, Henry Brookes
IN: Josh Inglis, Grace Scrivens
OUT: Glenn Maxwell
IN: Carlos Brathwaite, Colin Munro, Lockie Ferguson, Ollie Robinson, Sam Hain, Laura Jackson
OUT: Shadab Khan, Nicholas Pooran, Kagiso Radaba, Harry Gurney, Wayne Madsen
IN: Faf du Plessis, Jordan Thompson, Laura Kimmince, Laura Wolvaardt, Sterre Karlis, Kalea Moore
OUT: Aaron Finch, Olly Stone, Nicola Carey, Alyssa Healy
IN: Shabnim Ismail, Danielle Gregory
OUT: Rachael Haynes
IN: Devon Conway, Quinton de Kock, Amanda-Jade Wellington, Ella McCaughan, Charlotte Taylor
OUT: Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Amelia Kerr
IN: Wahab Riaz, Heather Graham, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Rachel Priest, Ella Claridge, Emily Windsor
OUT: Nathan Coulter-Nile, Annabel Sutherland, Sophie Molineux, Elyse Villani
IN: Jimmy Neesham (first three games), Lungi Ngidi (next five games), Glenn Phillips (until Pollard arrives), Piepa Cleary, Sune Luus, Georgia Redmayne, Bethan Ellis, Lissy Macleod, Nicole Harvey
OUT: Jhye Richardson, Kieron Pollard (partial), Georgia Wareham, Meg Lanning, Beth Mooney
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98