Which Men’s London Spirit Stars will be at the T20 World Cup?
The Hundred has wrapped up, crowning its inaugural champions as the Southern Brave for the men’s bracket and the Oval Invincibles for the women’s bracket. It was a high-powered and exciting tournament, proving the promised thrills of a new British franchise tournament, bringing in people who would have likely let the cricket calendar pass them by this year.
As such, several people are looking to the next major contests to see their new favourite cricketers perform, with the prime contest being the encroaching T20 World Cup. Played over a mere 40 balls more per game, the internationally accepted shortest form of the game should provide similar, higher stakes action as seen at the Hundred, but without the superb shirt colours.
Despite the London Spirit finishing at the foot of the table with a 1-6 record, they earned plenty of fans in the local area, even if the nearby Oval Invincibles nearly outshone them, but also missed the finals. So, we’re looking to the next major contest for the London Spirit stars and how they look to fare in the World Cup.
Eoin Morgan, England
Good connection by Eoin Morgan… #TheHundred#TheHundredOnFanCodepic.twitter.com/U08RZ1Gay0
— S. Sudarshanan (@Sudarshanan7) August 15, 2021
The London Spirit captain makes his way back into an England shirt this autumn to take command last time’s runners-up. In 2016, England met the West Indies in the final. Needing 19 runs from six balls, Morgan handed the ball to all-rounder Ben Stokes, who saw four near-identical bowls go for six to lose the game.
Having captained the team to an ODI World Cup triumph in 2019, though, Morgan will be looking to go that step further in the T20 format. While the tournament doesn’t start until 17th October, taking place in the UAE and Oman, England are already close second-favourites in the cricket betting at 10/3, just behind India.
Mohammad Nabi, Afghanistan
The London Spirit suffered from absences through both international call-ups and health, but one of the biggest losses was Mohammad Nabi after six games. The Afghan all-rounder had to pull out of the final two games for personal reasons, returning home on 13 August.
He still ended the Hundred as the Spirit’s top bowler, allowing a team-low 1.12 runs per ball and claiming six wickets. That economy rate even landed him third among bowlers who had played more than three games. Now, assuming that the national team attends, Nabi will look to make Afghanistan the banana skin in the Super 12 part of the T20 World Cup.
Mohammad Amir, Pakistan
Wahab Riaz played only one match in The Hundred but managed to pick up more wickets than his compatriot Mohammad Amir 👏
Is there a chance for any of the two left-arm pacers to be recalled to Pakistan’s T20I side❓#TheHundredpic.twitter.com/bQ6NAMXMZx
— CricWick (@CricWick) August 21, 2021
Only a few examples bucked the trend of the Spirits’ struggles, and unfortunately, Pakistan’s fast bowler Mohammad Amir wasn’t one of them. Through five games, the lefty finished with three wickets, and an unflattering 1.71 runs per ball allowed, only making it through 15 overs and two balls.
For Pakistan, Amir made waves in late 2020 when he announced his retirement from the international team. Citing clashes with the coaching set-up, the 29-year-old parted ways with the team that he’d worked so hard to be a part of once more. Still, in mid-August, it was reported that Amir had been in talks with the Pakistan chief executive officer, Wasim Khan, about becoming available for the T20 World Cup.
The 2021 T20 World Cup gets underway on 17 October, and while England are the only ones graded alongside India, both Pakistan and Afghanistan could cause several upsets to surpass expectations.