Maxwell and Marsh were both due to play under Trevor Bayliss at London Spirit on £125,000 (US$160,000) contracts but have been told to pull out in order to manage their workloads ahead of Australia’s build-up for the 50-over World Cup in India and next year’s T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and the US.
“In discussions with both players it was agreed that with a long campaign ahead, including two World Cups, it’s in their best interests to be physically refreshed and at their best for the one-day World Cup and beyond,” a Cricket Australia spokesperson told ESPNcricinfo. “Both are also coming from recent injuries.”
It leaves Spirit chasing two replacement overseas players in the month before the tournament starts, and several potential alternatives have already committed to other leagues – the Global T20 Canada, the Caribbean Premier League or the Lanka Premier League – during the Hundred’s window from August 1-27.
The Hundred has struggled to secure leading overseas players for the full tournament across its first two seasons and teams have again prioritised availability over star quality ahead of the 2023 edition. The women’s competition has attracted a higher standard of overseas players.
While the Hundred is relatively lucrative for men’s players, competition for talent is fierce. Top-earners in the Hundred earn £125,000 for four weeks’ work, while the majority of top overseas players in Major League Cricket – which finishes immediately before the Hundred starts – are earning comparable amounts for a two-week competition.
The ‘wildcard’ draft for domestic signings was held remotely on Tuesday morning, delayed by an hour as at least one team attempted unsuccessfully to force through a replacement signing straight before the draft.
Notable omissions in the wildcard draft included Matt Parkinson, who took 11 wickets as Manchester Originals reached the final last year, when he was also in England’s T20I side.
Ben Green, the Somerset allrounder who is the joint-highest wicket-taker in the Blast this season, and Warwickshire’s left-arm wristspinner Jake Lintott were also overlooked.
Hundred wildcard draft signings
Trent Rockets: John Turner, Tom Moores
Manchester Originals: Max Holden, Fred Klaassen
Oval Invincibles: Tawanda Muyeye, Zak Chappell
London Spirit: Matt Critchley, Daniel Bell-Drummond
Welsh Fire: Luke Wells, Chris Cooke
Northern Superchargers: Ollie Robinson, Saif Zaib
Birmingham Phoenix: Jacob Bethell, Henry Brookes
Southern Brave: Jafer Chohan, Matthew Fisher