The Hundred: Rob Key's team guide after initial player picks
Eight new teams. World-class players. 100 balls to make an impact. Cricket like never before
Last Updated: 15/10/19 10:14am
The Hundred is coming!
The countdown has begun to the start of the new competition, which gets underway in July of next year and holds its first-ever player draft on October 20, live on Sky Sports.
But before the player draft, each of the eight teams have picked three 'local' players based in their catchment area, of which one is England Test-contracted.
How The Hundred works
- Begins summer 2020. Eight teams across seven cities
- Each side bats for up to 100 balls
- Bowling changes ends after every 10 balls
- Bowlers will deliver either five or 10 consecutive balls but no more than 20 per match
- Each fielding side gets a strategic timeout of up to 150 seconds
- A 25-ball powerplay will start each side's innings, with only two fielders allowed outside the initial 30-yard circle
With those players now picked, team names and kits now revealed, Sky Sports' Rob Key gives his initial thoughts on how each team is shaping up...
The Hundred team picks
|Team||England red-ball player||Local Icons||Women's Players||Representing|
|Birmingham Phoenix||Chris Woakes||Moeen Ali, Pat Brown||Amy Jones, Kirstie Gordon||Warks, Worcestershire|
|London Spirit||Rory Burns||Eoin Morgan, Dan Lawrence||Heather Knight, Freya Davies||Middlesex, Essex, Northants|
|Manchester Originals||Jos Buttler||Saqib Mahmood, Matt Parkinson||Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone||Lancashire|
|Northern Superchargers||Ben Stokes||Adil Rashid, David Willey||Lauren Winfield, Linsey Smith||Yorkshire, Durham|
|Oval Invincibles||Sam Curran||Tom Curran, Jason Roy||Laura Marsh, Fran Wilson||Surrey, Kent|
|Southern Brave||Jofra Archer||Chris Jordan, James Vince||Anya Shrubsole, Danni Wyatt||Hampshire, Sussex|
|Trent Rockets||Joe Root||Harry Gurney, Alex Hales||Nat Sciver, Katherine Brunt||Notts, Derbyshire, Leics|
|Welsh Fire||Jonny Bairstow||Tom Banton, Colin Ingram||Katie George, Bryony Smith||Glamorgan, Gloucs, Somerset|
Joe Root, Alex Hales, Harry Gurney
There was no obvious England red-ball contracted player available to be picked by the Trent Rockets, with Stuart Broad acting in a mentor capacity, so they will be thrilled to have the Test captain land with them.
Every team needs a Joe Root, that type of batsman that can compliment your more aggressive stroke-makers, someone that everyone else can bat around.
Alex Hales is a fantastic batsman. An obvious pick, but a fantastic pick; a real fillip for the Rockets, who are fortunate to have him in their catchment area.
Selecting a top T20 team, you want a gun batsman. They've got that in Hales. And you want a gun death bowler. And they've got that too, in Harry Gurney, plus that left-arm variation.
Two experienced T20 players, and good value too; Hales in Round 4 and Gurney in Round 6. You're better off going into The Draft with as much credit in the bank as possible, so two excellent picks.
Jofra Archer, James Vince, Chris Jordan
The best bowler in the country right now, in Jofra Archer, teaming up again with Chris Jordan, one of the best death bowlers in the world! They're big mates and will get to continue their bromance.
Arguably, Archer won't be involved as much due to England commitments, but there is bigger picture stuff at play with him - someone with pure star quality, he will get a buzz going around the team, even if he does only feature in three games.
James Vince, much like Alex Hales, is one of the best picks available to the Brave, when you start looking at the possible options - he's easily one of your top picks.
For someone like Vince, this tournament comes at just the right sort of time, an opportunity to really prove himself in front of a global audience.
Ben Stokes, Adil Rashid, David Willey
Excellent picks! Again, looking at big-picture stuff, there is no bigger name in world cricket right now than Ben Stokes. He is probably the only person they'd have picked ahead of local Yorkshire lads Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow.
What a tie-in that is, the chance to go down to Headingley and watch Stokes on the very same ground where he hit that extraordinary hundred - arguably the best ever played - to win the third Ashes Test.
Adil Rashid, is not necessarily seen as an obvious choice around the world, which amazes me. I've always said he is up there with the very best spinners in the world when it comes to white-ball cricket. I'd put him up there with Rashid Khan.
Everyone wants a legspinner in a T20 team. The other teams are going to have to pay a fair whack for one in The Draft, and there's not many around.
All-rounders are also key, so David Willey is another strong pick. He can bat in the top three if you want him to - can get the team off to a bit of a flyer - and he bowls in the powerplay in T20 cricket.
Jonny Bairstow, Colin Ingram, Tom Banton
Jonny Bairstow has been left out of the England Test squad to tour New Zealand this winter, but I think he'll be back in the side by next summer, so the Fire might not necessarily have him at their disposal all tournament.
When he does play, they've got one of the best opening batsmen in world cricket, and they're pairing him up with one of the young top-order talents in the country, Tom Banton.
What a time it is for him right now, having just been called up to the England T20 squad too - it's great to see such investment in a young English batsman. He has now picked up a nice bit of cash and he has a chance to make a mark globally.
Colin Ingram is an interesting pick. Perhaps they are eyeing up potentially using him as a captain, an important part of each team's makeup.
The Fire have gone batsman heavy with their three picks, taking their chances with the bowling side of things in The Draft. You might have to pay a bit extra for them, but there will be so many class bowlers, all-rounders, from world cricket they can still take a punt on.
Sam Curran, Jason Roy, Tom Curran
Sam Curran is an interesting one. He has done so well for England every time he has played, but he might actually play a bit more in The Hundred than some of the other Test-contracted boys.
In that regard, he could be a great pickup for the Invincibles. His brother too, Tom Curran, is good value as a Round 6 pick - a brilliant death bowler and a gun fielder.
Jason Roy, again, is one of the best batsmen in the world. He and Jonny Bairstow in the Cricket World Cup this summer were as good as any opening pair.
The Invincibles could have taken someone from Kent, with Sam Billings and Joe Denly both available to them. It won't have been an easy decision, but they've opted for lads familiar with playing at The Oval.
Jos Buttler, Matt Parkinson, Saqib Mahmood
Jos Buttler picks himself. One of the best - if not the best - T20 players in world cricket.
It shows you the importance of legspin, with the Originals getting theirs early in Matt Parkinson, picking him over another batsman and Lancashire lad in Liam Livingstone.
He has also just been picked for England, as has Saqib Mahmood. He has an extraordinary year in white-ball cricket for Lancashire and is only going to get better.
Looking at these initial player picks, you like the look of the teams that already have each base covered; a spinner, a batsman and a bowler. You can start to see a team taking shape already.
Rory Burns, Eoin Morgan, Dan Lawrence
Eoin Morgan, you pick him as your captain as much as anything else. He is the best captain in world cricket at the moment, in my opinion. He would have been one of my first picks for that reason.
It will be unusual for Rory Burns, a Surrey lad, suddenly playing up the road in London at Lord's. Plus, he's more suited to Test cricket and the longer, so it's less obvious where he's going to bat in The Hundred. But he's another good leader - has captained Surrey - and he can keep wicket, which could be a bonus.
Dan Lawrence, he's maybe a surprising pick, instead of maybe his Essex team-mate and the more experienced Ravi Bopara, who could have been an option. But he is great value in Round 8.
The one thing I know about the Spirit head coach Shane Warne is, he has one of the best cricket brains in the world.
When he started the IPL with the Rajasthan Royals, they won the very first year - without necessarily the big names, just smart picks - and he galvanised that side to the title.
Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali, Pat Brown
Moeen Ali, if he plays every game, is the pick! Spinner, top-order batsman and a fantastic captain. We've seen the kind of impact he has had for Worcestershire in the Blast the last two years.
But, I just think he will be back playing Test cricket by next summer; he is just too good a player not to be playing red-ball cricket, so he could prove to be an expensive pick if the Phoenix don't see much of him.
Chris Woakes might also not be available for the entire tournament, so then you're suddenly down two star names. But if they're both available, you don't get much better.
Pat Brown, similar to what I said earlier about Tom Banton, what a time it is for him! A T20 call-up for England and now he also has the chance to test himself against the best batsmen in the world in this competition.
You want to have four or five really good players as the spine of your team, an all-rounder, a top-order batsman and a couple of decent bowlers.
They all look strong, but I suppose the Northern Superchargers stand out to me, led by Ben Stokes.
Also, give me Eoin Morgan as captain and Shane Warne as coach together! The London Spirit would be in the mix for me just because of those two.
I'm backing them to work this competition out quicker than most, find an edge and be ahead of the rest of the pack.
'The Hundred Draft - Live' will be live on Sky Sports Cricket, Main Event & Sky One from 1900-2200 on Sunday October 20. It will also be available via Sky Sports' Facebook and YouTube channels, as well as live on the Sky Sports app and streamed on skysports.com.