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The Australian women’s internationals who have withdrawn from The Hundred had each been offered £10,000 in addition to their player salaries of £15,000, Telegraph Sport can reveal.
In a last-ditch bid to persuade the high-profile signings to remain in the competition the sum was offered to players such as Alyssa Healy, Meg Lanning and Beth Mooney.
However, following the ECB announcement earlier today, all but one of the 11 Australian internationals who had initially signed a deal have withdrawn from the competition. Ellyse Perry remains the only current Australian women’s international due to participate in this month’s inaugural competition. It is unknown whether Perry has accepted the additional sum on top of her salary.
The highest salary for a female player, which an international player would expect to receive, is £15,000, compared to the top men’s salary of £100,000. The lowest women’s salary is just £3,600; the lowest men’s salary is £24,000.
Telegraph Sport understands that each of the overseas women’s players participating in The Hundred are being offered an ‘overseas disturbance fee’ in light of the pandemic. However, this fee varies depending on a player’s country of origin.
Nervousness among the Australian contingent first arose following the cancellation of the men’s Indian Premier League in May, after a surge in coronavirus cases in India. Participating Australian players found themselves barred from re-entering their home country and only managed to do so following a ten-day diversion to the Maldives, followed by a two-week quarantine in Australia.
The uncertainty surrounding the rise of the delta variant cases of Covid in England, and the short turnaround between the mandatory two-week quarantine period following the end of The Hundred and the beginning of Australia’s international season, had seen the ECB locked in discussions with Australian player representatives in a bid to persuade the internationals to remain.
Australia’s Rachael Haynes was the first international to pull out of the competition due to Covid-19 restrictions, as revealed by the Evening Standard in May. It is understood that the additional exodus of Australian signings has been known by the ECB for more than a month but that they were unwilling to confirm any withdrawals until replacement players had been found. With tickets for The Hundred having first gone on sale in April, the players performing in the competition will be radically different to those that many spectators would have expected to see when they bought their tickets.
Many of the Australian women internationals have been replaced by uncapped domestic Australian players, such as Sammy Jo-Johnson, Laura Kimmince and Georgia Redmayne. The ECB declined to comment.