The Hundred: Rashid Khan, Alex Hales, Katherine Brunt, Elyse Villani retained by Trent Rockets

Trent Rockets have confirmed Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan as one of four retained players for the rescheduled launch of The Hundred next summer.

Rashid, who was the number one pick in the draft for the inaugural tournament, is the first overseas men’s player to be retained for The Hundred in 2021.

The Rockets have also confirmed that hard-hitting Nottinghamshire and England opener Alex Hales will be part of the men’s squad, alongside Test captain Joe Root.

England Women’s all-time leading wicket-taker Katherine Brunt has been retained by the franchise, as has Australia batter Elyse Villani.

“It was a very proud moment for me and for my country to be the first man picked in The Hundred,” said Rashid, who features for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL play-offs on Friday, live on Sky Sports Cricket.

“As soon as I heard about The Hundred I was super excited to play and I am very pleased I have been able to stay at Trent Rockets.

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“Alex is a great guy. He’s one of the strongest hitters of the ball in the world so I’m excited to be in the same team as him.

“And Joe is a classic batsman – one of the very best in the modern era. It’s a great opportunity to learn from his knowledge, experience and understanding of the game.”

Brunt and Villani are both currently in action for Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League, along with England all-rounder Nat Sciver, whose retention by the Rockets was announced last month.

“The women’s game is unrecognisable from where it was 10 years ago,” said Brunt. “I never thought I’d see over 87,000 people attend the Women’s T20 World Cup final, but that’s exactly what we got earlier this year, and it was incredible for the women’s game.

“Tournaments like The Hundred are an awesome way for us to keep that interest up and showcase our skills. I feel fortunate to still play cricket at the standard I want to play at and to be a part of a brand-new competition.”

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