Kane Williamson said he was really pleased to be staying at Birmingham Phoenix.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson will join Birmingham Phoenix, where he will play alongside England all-rounders Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was one of several foreign stars created by his franchise on Wednesday for the inaugural edition of English Cricket’s The Hundred. Willimson joins Birmingham Phoenix, where he will play alongside England all-rounders Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes. “I’m really pleased to be in Birmingham Phoenix,” Williamson said. “It’s always been great to play against Moeen and Chris and it will be exciting to line up with them. You want to test yourself against the best and that’s what Hundred is about.”

Australia’s limited-overs captain Aaron Finch is set to lead the Northern Supercars, with compatriot Glenn Maxwell and West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell alongside London Spirit and Southern Braves respectively.

Finch, who played county cricket for Yorkshire in 2014 and 2015, said: “I enjoyed my time as a player in Yorkshire and I really want to come back there and hopefully put on a show.”

In the women’s competition, New Zealand leg-spinner Amelia Kerr has signed for Southern Braves as a replacement for compatriot Suzie Bates, who has to return with a shoulder injury.

Teams can re-sign players who were in the retention window representing them in 2020, which closed on Wednesday, with more than 50 names confirmed.

There will be a top-up draft for the eight men’s teams to fill the gaps in their 15-man squad, which will be confirmed on February 23, while the women’s side will be finalized in the coming months.

A major objective of the 100 balls per side format is to attract new audiences to cricket, so last year’s competition was postponed when it became clear that the coronavirus epidemic meant that fans would not be allowed into the field Will go.

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