Star England batter Jonny Bairstow has withdrawn from the opening stages of The Hundred 2022 season to manage his workload ahead of the busy winter season. England are scheduled to play three-match Test series against South Africa at home, starting on August 17. He is in form of his life in red-ball cricket with 994 runs in just eight Test matches at an average of 76.46 in 2022. It is clear that the batter is focusing more on Test cricket over the 2nd edition of the Hundred, which starts on August 3.
The 32-year-old wicketkeeper batter was due to captain Welsh Fire, who are playing champions Southerns Brave in the opening match Wednesday. This came as a big shock for England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), who already had lost red-ball skipper Ben Stokes from The Hundred 2022.
Stokes decided to skip the tournament to focus more on Test cricket and now Bairstow’s decision will further hit this unique league. Apart from the above two players, Test specialist bowling trio, James Anderson, Stuart Broad, and Jack Leach will not be part of The Hundred 2022. No other English player has played more cricket than Bairstow across formats since 2021, despite resting for the T20I series against India last month.
Jonny Bairstow to focus more Test cricket ahead of England’s busy schedule
England are placed at the seventh position in World Test Champions for 2021-23 table with just five wins, despite playing 16 matches, more than any team. Four of those wins came in last four matches, as England have evolved unexpectedly in Test cricket since Stokes has taken the captaincy charge. Bairstow is playing a crucial role in England’s revealation in Test cricket, and according to ESPNcricinfo, Bairstow wants to manage his workload to focus more on red-ball cricket.
After South Africa series, England will travel to Pakistan for a seven-match T20I series starting on September 20. The Three Lions will then play three T20I games against Australia to prepare for the 2022 T20 World Cup, starting on 22nd of October.