Jonny Bairstow: Welsh Fire captain withdraws from The Hundred to rest before England-South Africa Test series

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In need of a rest: Jonny Bairstow has a hectic schedule, playing all three formats for England  (Getty Images)
In need of a rest: Jonny Bairstow has a hectic schedule, playing all three formats for England (Getty Images)

England’s Jonny Bairstow will not feature in the second edition of The Hundred this summer.

The 32-year-old has withdrawn on the eve of the competition which gets underway on Wednesday and lasts for one month, despite being set to captain Welsh Fire.

Instead, Bairstow - alongside former skipper Joe Root, the star of England’s Test renaissance under Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes - plans to rest after a packed schedule to ensure he is fully ready for England’s Test series against South Africa, which begins at Lord’s on August 17 before further matches at Old Trafford and The Oval.

Bairstow represents England in all three formats and is set for a hectic autumn and winter, with a tour of Pakistan to come in September before the T20 World Cup in Australia, which gets underway in October.

“I’m really disappointed I won’t be part of The Hundred this year,” Bairstow said. “I loved it last year, but I’ve had a hectic few months with the schedule as it is and I really need to take a breather before the South Africa Test series.

“All the best to the Welsh Fire Men and Women - I’ll be cheering you on.”

In Bairstow’s absence, Welsh Fire, who finished seventh in the inaugural men’s tournament last year with five wins and open their latest Hundred campaign against Southern Brave at the Ageas Bowl on Wednesday, will be captained by Josh Cobb.

“We understand Jonny’s decision and wish him all the best,” the team said in a statement. “We can’t wait to get our Hundred campaign under way tomorrow night and then look forward to getting back in front of our own fans at Sophia Gardens on Sunday [against Oval Invincibles].”

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