The Hundred: Hussey opens up about gamble of signing Haris, Shaheen

The event will be played in August this year

By Web Desk
March 28, 2023
There is uncertainty over Shaheen (L) and Haris' (R) availability — AFP 

Welsh Fire coach Mike Hussey is hopeful that gamble of signing Pakistan speedsters Haris Rauf and Shaheen Afridi will pay off in the upcoming edition of The Hundred.

It must be noted that there is uncertainty over the duo’s availability due to lack of clarity over Pakistan’s matches in August, when The Hundred is set to be played.

Haris and Shaheen are among the best T20 bowlers in the world and were also part of the Lahore Qalandars’ squad which successfully defended their Pakistan Super League (PSL) title this year.

"We've been told that they're available up to about the 20th," Hussey told ESPNcricinfo and the Press Association. "I think that's about seven games, and there's a chance that the series they've got against Afghanistan may be called off as well. It's a bit of a gamble, but if that is the case, it'd be a huge win for us to have them for the whole season, which would be amazing for us.

"They are big stars, and they're match-winners as well. The first seven games is a fair chunk of the tournament. If they can come in and have a huge impact and win us a few games, and get us right up there, then that will help build some confidence and belief. And then there's still some quality performers out there that we can attract as suitable replacements.

"The gamble is, we know we've got them for seven games at this stage, but it could also be the whole tournament which would be a huge pay-off for us. Obviously they are both world-class performers and have performed on the biggest stage in the past, so hopefully they can have a big impact for us."

Hussey replaced Gary Kirsten as the team’s head coach after a winless last season.

Apart from Shaheen and Haris, only pacer Ihsanullah was picked from Pakistan during the recent The Hundred draft.

Ihsanullah was by picked by Oval Invincibles. He was the player of the tournament in the recently-concluded Pakistan Super League (PSL) for taking 22 wickets at an Economy of 7.59.

However, Pakistan captain Babar Azam and wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan remained unsold due to limited availability.

It must be noted that Azam became the most pick in a fan poll ahead of The Hundred draft. The prolific batter topped the charts after securing 25 per cent of the votes.

Additionally, none of the Pakistan women’s cricketers were picked during the draft.

The event will begin on August 1, with the final set to be played on August 27 at the Lord’s Cricket Ground.