Welsh Fire men’s side have picked Australian spinner Adam Zampa, South African batter David Miller and Pakistani paceman Naseem Shah in their Hundred squad.
Nottinghamshire batter Joe Clarke was their first selection in the draft.
England’s Tammy Beaumont joins to captain the women’s side, which includes Australia’s World Cup winners Rachael Haynes and Annabel Sutherland.
West Indies’ Hayley Matthews remains as their other overseas star.
No Glamorgan players have been picked for the high-profile men’s competition, leaving the Welsh county with a strong chance of retaining the One-Day Cup, which runs concurrently in August.
None of Glamorgan’s five representatives in last year’s inaugural Hundred made a major impression.
Spinner top choice
Leg-spinner Zampa, the first international selection for the second season of the franchise tournament, is a limited-overs specialist with 173 wickets in 128 white-ball appearances for Australia.
Hard-hitting batter Miller was part of the Glamorgan squad which reached the T20 Blast Finals Day in 2017.
Shah, 19, is the youngest fast bowler to take a five-wicket haul in a Test match after being called up by Pakistan aged just 16, and has also signed for Gloucestershire.
“Naseem Shah has that high-end pace we’re after, David Miller whom Glamorgan fans will be familiar with brings middle-order power and Zampa brings the leg-spin, everyone knows how important leg-spin is in short form cricket and Zampa is as good as anyone,” said Welsh Fire cricket manager Mark Wallace.
Welsh Fire’s first pick at £125,000 was Nottinghamshire batter Clarke, educated at Llanfyllin High School in Powys, who has not played international cricket.
“Joe Clarke will bring opening batting power alongside Tom Banton, he’s been one of those players who’s done very well on the domestic scene, he’s had a superb Big Bash in Australia and played in the Pakistan Super League as well,” explained Wallace.
Jonny Bairstow and Ollie Pope remain as Welsh Fire’s current England players, while Warwickshire batter Sam Hain and county colleague Jacob Bethell, an England Under-19 spinner, are the other domestic players to join the Cardiff-based franchise.
They won three games out of eight and finished seventh in the inaugural season after extensive problems with their international contingent because of Covid-related travel restrictions.
World Cup reunion
The Welsh Fire women’s squad features two openers who played opposite each other in the World Cup final on 3 April in Australia’s Haynes, who hit 68 in that match, and England’s Beaumont, who played for London Spirit in 2021.
Haynes is accompanied by seam-bowling all-rounder Sutherland, who appeared in the women’s Big Bash aged just 15.
The experienced Matthews, an opening bat and off-spin bowler, was a leading figure in 2021, although Welsh Fire could only manage two wins out of eight and finished bottom.
The addition of batter Fran Wilson and spinner Alex Hartley, both World Cup winners with England in 2017, will strengthen the domestic side of their squad.
They retain Welsh all-rounder Alex Griffiths, 19, while experienced Welsh spinner Claire Nicholas makes her competition bow after missing the last tournament while pregnant.
“We’ve mixed it up a bit with the women’s team but I think we’ve upgraded it significantly,” said Wallace.
“We’re optimistic we can do better with men’s and women’s teams, last year was a bit of a nightmare with the logistics of getting the competition up and running alongside Covid, so we’re really hoping for an uninterrupted tournament. The potential to get a full capacity crowd into Sophia Gardens to watch Welsh Fire is something we’re very excited about.”
Welsh Fire Men
Jonny Bairstow, Ollie Pope, Joe Clarke, Tom Banton, Adam Zampa (Overseas player), Ben Duckett, David Miller (O), Jake Ball, Naseem Shah (O), David Payne, Sam Hain, Leus du Plooy, Matt Critchley, Jacob Bethell, Josh Cobb.
Welsh Fire Women
Tammy Beaumont (capt), Rachael Haynes (O), Annabel Sutherland (O), Fran Wilson, Katie George, Hayley Matthews (O), Alex Hartley, Claire Nicholas, Fi Morris, Georgia Hennessy, Alex Griffiths, Sarah Bryce, Hannah Baker, Lauren Filer, Nicole Harvey.
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