Jos Buttler was picked for Manchester Originals as the teams only England Test central contract. – Image rights – Creative Commons
A BBC Sport journalist has told Salford Now he feels the Manchester Originals will “struggle to compete” for the inaugural Hundred title.
Salford cricket fans can now start supporting a brand new set of players after Old Trafford-based side Manchester Originals picked their 15-man squad in The Hundred draft on Sunday night, but BBC reporter James Law believed the side were poor with their selections.
“I think the Manchester Originals were one of two sides along with the Birmingham Phoenix who didn’t really come out of the draft too well,” Mr Law, who will be covering The Hundred next summer, said.
“There were a couple of questionable picks, Dane Vilas at £125,000 and Tom Abell as well at £100,000, two players who they might have overpaid for a bit.”
The Originals selected South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir as their first pick alongside other overseas stars Daniel Christian and Mitchell Santner.
Thy can also rely on the services of England Cricket World Cup winner Jos Buttler alongside T20 specialist Phil Salt and local icon Saqib Mahmood.
View this post on Instagram
“When you look at some of the massive names at some of the other franchises you just wonder if the Originals have been left behind somewhat. It might be a bit of a struggle for them to really compete for the title.”
Although, Mr Law stopped short of entirely ruling out the Originals, saying: “Time will tell, we’ve got the best part of a year before it starts and things can change.”
‘Change could be positive’
The English cricket board has received plenty of negativity around The Hundred.
However, Mr Law is confident both the new tournament and the Manchester Originals will find plenty of supporters: “I think the cricket traditionalists just don’t quite like the fact there’s now a fourth different form of cricket in this country.
“I can see where they’re coming from in a way. It is a lot of formats, do we need one that’s so similar to the T20 format?
“But I think this is a change that could be positive. You’ve got some of the top coaches and players in the world coming. I think to be honest, the organisers of this competition aren’t going to be too upset at the detractors.
“They are looking for a new (younger) audience, which I think will be attracted to the competition by what they’ve done.”
Manchester Originals full squad (in order of selection): Jos Buttler (contract), Imran Tahir (overseas), Dane Vilas, Phil Salt, Tom Abell, Matt Parkinson – selected on 3rd October, Saqib Mahmood – selected on 3rd October, Daniel Christian (overseas), Wayne Madsen, Wayne Parnell, Mitchell Santner (overseas), Joe Clarke, Marchant de Lange, Ed Pollock, Eddie Byrom.
These are the views of James Law and may or may not represent the views of the BBC.