Chris Gayle was sensationally snubbed in the Hundred draft on Sunday night as a raft of top international players were overlooked for the ECB’s new competition.
The self-proclaimed Universe Boss has ruled global Twenty20 cricket over the past two decades as the only batsman to pass 10,000 runs.
He has struck 22 hundreds, a whopping 14 more than any other player, and despite now being 40 he struck two punishing one-day hundreds against England at the turn of this year.
Scroll down for full selections...
Chris Gayle was sensationally snubbed as the Hundred draft took place on Sunday night
Lasith Malinga of Sri Lanka was another player who was overlooked in the draft
Kagiso Rabada was another of those from the top £125,000 price bracket to miss out
However, he was one of three players from the top £125,000 price bracket along with Lasith Malinga and Kagiso Rabada to miss out on a gig at one of the eight teams.
Dwayne Bravo, the only man to have taken more Twenty20 wickets than Malinga, recently-appointed West Indies captain Kieron Pollard and New Zealand left-armer Trent Boult were other high-profile omissions as the the inaugural squads for the ECB’s new brainchild came together on live television.
Question marks over availability contributed to Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan and South Africa stars Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis missing out on places.
Two of the three Australians in the top £125,000 tier Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc will line up alongside England World Cup winner Jonny Bairstow for Welsh Fire while the other David Warner joins Jofra Archer at Southern Brave.
Dwayne Bravo of the West Indies was another high-profile omission on Sunday night
New Zealand's Trent Boult wasn't called upon as the squads for the Hundred were chosen
West Indies international Andre Russell was selected for Southern Brave in the Hundred draft
But none were in the first few selections of the evening at Sky Sports studios in Isleworth, as Trent Rockets, with England captain Joe Root their designated Test player, plumped for Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan, the number one ranked T20 bowler, as the opening pick.
West Indies international Andre Russell and Australia one-day captain Aaron Finch were the first choices of Southern Brave and Northern Superchargers, the home of Ben Stokes, respectively.
Heralded short form talents Sunil Narine, Imran Tahir and Glenn Maxwell were also snapped up in the opening round but among the biggest winners of the night were young English talents.
Lancashire’s Liam Livingstone, picked up for £125,000 by Birmingham Phoenix for more than double his reserve price of £60,000, while Phil Salt, the uncapped Sussex opening batsman, and Somerset captain Tom Abell were recruited by Jos Buttler’s Manchester Originals for £100,000 apiece having not placed prices on their head.
Ben Stokes will have Australia's Aaron Finch on his team for the Northern Superchargers
Jos Buttler's Manchester Originals recruited Phil Salt and Tom Abell in the draft
Gary Kirsten, head coach of Welsh Fire, speaks to Jonny Bairstow ahead of the draft
‘It is fantastic to see because teams are not just thinking about the here and now, they are thinking about building a team and you can see how that has worked successfully in the Indian Premier League or the Big Bash,’ said Buttler.
‘If a young lad smashes Mitchell Starc or Rashid Khan around the ground and wins a game then their name can be thrown up in lights and we will know he can handle the pressure of international cricket.’
Simon Harmer, so influential in taking Essex to the Vitality Blast title, was one of those taken in the fourth tier for £60,000.
Another of Essex’s 2019 double winners Ravi Bopara, who switched to Sussex earlier this week, has found a home in the midlands with Birmingham, whose head coach Andrew McDonald was not involved in the draft due to commitments in his native Australia.
Birmingham and Manchester only signed one overseas player apiece in the opening half of an event which at three hours was ironically longer than a 100-ball match.
Eoin Morgan of London Spirit and Kate Cross of Manchester Originals were in attendance
Shane Warne, head coach of London Spirit, will work with leg-spinner Mason Crane while he also picked England fast bowler Mark Wood for £60,000.
Liam Plunkett, who lost out on a central contract last month, joins Welsh Fire, who despite their name have few links with their Cardiff base other than Colin Ingram, Glamorgan’s exciting Kolpak batsman.
Each team will have one more pick before the tournament starts next July - a £30,000 wildcard selection taken from the top performers in the 2020 Vitality Blast.