In a massive blow to The Hundred, Australia’s David Warner and Marcus Stoinis have pulled out of the inaugural edition of the tournament. With the international cricketing calendar packed and other domestic leagues taking precedence, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is bracing itself for more withdrawals by overseas stars.

The Hundred is slated to take place from July 21-August 21. However, the future of many international stars is in doubt with players looking to opt-out of the competition due to quarantine restrictions and bio-bubble fatigue. ECB confirmed the news of David Warner and Marcus Stoinis’ withdrawal from The Hundred.

“It is obviously disappointing to lose players with the ability of David and Marcus, but the realities of Covid mean there are practicalities that are difficult for some overseas players to overcome. Replacement overseas players will be signed by Southern Brave, and we look forward to the Hundred showcasing world-class cricket this summer,” the statement read.

Warner and Stoinis, who were set to play for the Southern Brave, had signed deals worth £100,000 and £80,000 respectively. But, both players have pulled out of the tournament to spend more time with their families. The duo has been named in Australia’s preliminary squad for the white-ball tours to the Caribbean and Bangladesh.

However, they are also expected to pull out of the same. Southern Brave now face the prospect of playing with an entirely different overseas contingent as Andre Russell will also miss the first half of the season due to international commitments. A temporary replacement will soon be announced to cover for the Jamaican’s unavailability.

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