The Australia duo of David Warner and Marcus Stoinis has pulled out from the inaugural edition of The Hundred, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed in a statement. Both the players have taken the decision due to complications related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Warner and Stoinis were contracted by the Southern Brave on deals worth £100,000 and £80,000 respectively. Both are also a part of Australia's white-ball tours to the West Indies and Bangladesh, scheduled to begin in the July-August window.
"It is obviously disappointing to lose players with the ability of David and Marcus, but the realities of Covid means there are practicalities that are difficult for some overseas players to overcome," the ECB said in a statement on Thursday.
"Replacement overseas players will be signed by Southern Brave, and we look forward to The Hundred showcasing world-class cricket this summer."
Along with Warner and Stoinis, few more names are believed to withdraw from the competition owing to international commitments and an unrelenting pandemic situation.
Meanwhile, five Indian women players have joined The Hundred women's competition. Shafali Verma has joined Birmingham Phoenix as a replacement for Sophie Devine while Harmanpreet Kaur, who will star in the opening match at the Kia Oval on July 21, has joined Manchester Originals.
The tournament, to be organised by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and played in a 100-ball format, will see some of the best women cricketers from around the world compete for different franchises.
"It's very exciting that I am going to get to play in the first-ever game of The Hundred," Harmanpreet was quoted as saying by the tournament website.
"It will be special to make history, especially with a women's match at such a big ground. We've played in front of some large crowds in India and it's always a great experience for the players," she added.
(With IANS Inputs)