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Aussie stars lead eight players committing to Birmingham Phoenix in The Hundred

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Australian stars Ashleigh Gardner and Adam Zampa headline a group of eight players who have signed up for Birmingham Phoenix in next year’s inaugural The Hundred competition.

Leg-spinner Zampa, who is ranked five in the ICC men’s T20 bowler rankings, and all-rounder Gardner, who won the ICC women’s T20 World Cup earlier this year, join a further six locally-based players from Warwickshire and Worcestershire in committing to Birmingham Phoenix.

Warwickshire batsman Adam Hose and fast bowler Henry Brookes, alongside Worcestershire seamer Pat Brown, have signed up for the Birmingham Phoenix men’s team. Warwickshire and Central Sparks batters Ria Fackrell, Eve Jones and Marie Kelly have also joined the Edgbaston-based outfit.

Adam Zampa said: “I’m over the moon to know that I’m staying with Birmingham Phoenix and to help this new team mount a serious challenge in this first year of The Hundred.

“Birmingham is a fantastic city and I’m really looking forward to calling Edgbaston home. Hopefully we can welcome crowds and our new fans to the ground because, having played against England at Edgbaston, I know that the atmosphere there is awesome.”

Ashleigh Gardner said: “We’ve got the makings of an excellent Birmingham Phoenix squad and I can’t wait to get going in next year’s competition and to continue working with head coach Ben Sawyer, who I know so well from Sydney Sixers and the Australia women’s team.

“Speaking to players around the world, there’s so much excitement around The Hundred and it’s fantastic to see so many of the best players coming for this first competition. I believe that we’ve got a great chance of going all of the way and bringing the trophy back to Birmingham.”

Birmingham Phoenix announced last month that Birmingham-born England all-rounder Moeen Ali will captain the men’s team in 2021 with leading New Zealand all-rounder Sophie Devine appointed women’s team captain.

They will be joined by fellow England stars and Birmingham’s own all-rounder Chris Woakes and wicketkeeper-batter Amy Jones in the men’s and women’s squads respectively. Warwickshire and England men’s Test batsman Dom Sibley was also announced within the Phoenix squad last month.

Further players will be announced in the coming weeks.

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