Signings are boost to Hundred’s pulling power amid overseas withdrawals
The news sustains an incredible few months for Conway. The New Zealand batter only made his international debut in November but already has a double-century on Test debut at Lord’s to look back on. With an ODI average of 75 and a T20I average of 59, he also has the game for limited-overs cricket and looks set to become a regular feature on the franchise circuit. He has also signed to play two LV=Insurance County Championship matches and some T20 Blast games for Somerset, starting immediately after the World Test Championship final.
But it is the addition of de Kock that is more significant. South Africa’s Test captain is indisputably one of the world’s most exciting players at present and, at a time when the Hundred has been beset by withdrawals, his signing is a real boost to the pulling power of the competition. He will link up with Southern Brave men’s head coach Mahela Jayawardene again after working with him previously at Mumbai Indians in the IPL.
“I can’t wait to get going with Southern Brave,” de Kock said. “I’m also really excited to be working with Mahela again. Hopefully we can have plenty of fans in to support us and we can give them something to cheer about.”
“While we are disappointed that David Warner and Marcus Stoinis will not be available for our men’s team, we are delighted to welcome both Devon and Quinton to the side,” Giles White, the general manager of Southern Brave, said. “They are both quality cricketers who will add power and excitement up the top of the order for us.”
“I’m gutted to have to pull out of The Hundred at this stage,” Warner said. “I was really excited to be a part of it. However, with current restrictions and playing schedules I need to stay in Australia and focus on my family.”
The Hundred runs for a month and starts on July 21. While Conway is expected to be available throughout, de Kock is likely to miss at least the opening fixture due to South Africa’s T20I series in Ireland. Andre Russell, the men’s team’s third overseas player, is set to miss a handful of games while on international duty and the Brave are looking for a short-term replacement.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo