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Head coach of the Welsh Fire franchise at The Hundred, Gary Kirsten has confirmed that his team will miss Jonny Bairstow by a large margin in the inaugural edition, with the batsman set to appear in the India Test matches. Kirsten revealed that he intended to make Bairstow a captain.
England white-ball behemoth Jonny Bairstow could miss a significant portion of ‘The Hundred”s inaugural season as Welsh Fire coach Gary Kirsten has confirmed the 31-year-old will instead be making his return for England in the five-year-old. Test series against India. Bairstow would become Welsh Fire captain, but the ECB’s decision has thrown a spanner in the works. Speaking to Talksport on the eve of The Hundred, Kirsten confirmed that he has been informed by English management that they plan to include Bairstow in the expanded roster for the five-Test series against India starting next month.
“We hear that Jonny Bairstow, who we have appointed as our captain, is now suddenly becoming a test cricketer again,” Kirsten told Talk Sport.
“We could have him maybe for one or two games. I wanted him to be captain and he was excited too. He wants to broaden his game a little bit. He’s a great player, he’s very competitive and he has a way of playing which is very endearing to short-lived cricket so I am looking forward to working with him as we have had quite a few conversations already.”
Welsh Fire has already been weakened by Kieron Pollard’s withdrawal, and now the Bairstow news comes like a hammer blow. However, Kirsten stressed that franchisees should take these developments to heart and move forward, as they are uncontrollable.
“It is what it is. If he gets the chance to play test cricket for England and we don’t get him, that’s the priority, it’s as simple as that. We have to accept and move with the times.”
Bairstow’s final Test appearance came on the infamous Ahmedabad stage of the India tour, where he registered three ducks in four innings. The righthander has not played a Test at home since Ashes 2019.
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