Andrew McDonald is set to be the latest big-name withdrawal from the Hundred. McDonald had been appointed as head coach of Birmingham Phoenix, but ESPNcricinfo understands that he will not be coming to England this summer with his responsibilities as Australia’s assistant coach taking priority.
McDonald is instead expected to go on Australia’s tour to the Caribbean, which departs in late June and is due to be followed by a trip to Bangladesh in early August.
The news is a significant blow to Birmingham Phoenix. McDonald had been heavily involved in the planning stages for the tournament, including taking decisions on which players to sign. It is understood the Phoenix management hope that he will remain involved in the long term and intend to appoint only an interim to take his place for the 2021 tournament. Talks over the appointment of that interim are understood to be at an advanced stage.
McDonald’s decision follows a string of other high-profile withdrawals which have included Marcus Stoinis, David Warner and Kagiso Rabada. The ECB are braced for more in the coming days with the expectation that players from the Caribbean and Pakistan may also struggle to make the tournament amid fixture clashes and bio-bubble fatigue.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo
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