England celebrated pacer James Anderson was baffled after finding out that Pakistan skipper Babar Azam has remained unsold in the recently concluded The Hundred Draft.
Anderson, when speaking during the BBC’s Tailenders podcast, said he would have done everything possible, including splashing out the entire budget, to ensure the Pakistani star batter's inclusion in his team.
“I’ll pay double for him [Babar Azam]. I’ll spend the whole budget on Babar Azam,” the English bowler said.
Owing to their limited availability, the Green Shirts' captain and wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan have remained unsold in the tournament.
“The only thing I can guess is that there might have been an availability issue, which is why he wasn’t picked,” the right armour added.
It must be noted that Azam became the most picked 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 was picked during the draft.
However, Pakistan pacers Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf were picked up by the Welsh Fire in the draft.
Meanwhile, Pacer Ihsanullah was 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.
The event will begin on August 1, with the final set to be played on August 27 at the Lord’s Cricket Ground.
In the men's competition last year, Trent Rockets prevailed after defeating Manchester Originals in the championship match.
The Oval Invincibles, who defeated Southern Brave in a rematch of the 2021 final, prevailed in the women's competition to claim victory for the second time in a row.
Women: Diana Baig, Javeria Rauf, Iram Javed, Nida Dar, Fatima Sana, Aroob Shah, Muneeb Siddiqui and Maham Tariq.
Men: Babar Azam, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Rizwan, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Amir, Fakhar Zaman, Imad Wasim, Muhammad Akhlaq, Abrar Ahmed, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Umar Akmal, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Noman Ali, Salman Ali, Umaid Asif, Saim Ayub, Danish Aziz, Ammad Butt, Shahnawaz Dahani, Sameen Gul, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Hasnain, Muhammad Irfan, Salman Irshad, Ahmed Danyal, Aamir Jamal, Akif Javed, Azam Khan, Haseebullah Khan, Mubasir Khan, Sharjeel Khan, Sajid Khan, Umer Khan, Zaman Khan, Sohaib Maqsood, Waqas Maqsood, Shan Masood, Usama Mir, Mohammad Nawaz, Usman Qadir, Rumman Raees, Wahab Riaz, Abdullah Shafique, Khushdil Shah, Yasir Shah, Saud Shakeel, Haris Sohail, Talat Hussain, Imam-ul-Haq, Ihsanullah, Abdul Wahid and Amir Yamin.
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