David Warner, Marcus Stoinis pull out of The Hundred

Warner and Stoinis will not be able to participate in the inaugural season of The Hundred owing to difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Warner and Stoinis have been named in Australia's preliminary squads for the limited-overs tours to the West Indies and Bangladesh. - GETTY IMAGES (FILE)

Australian cricketers David Warner and Marcus Stoinis have pulled out of the inaugural edition of 'The Hundred' as the England and Wales Cricket Board gears up for more withdrawals in wake of the challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic.

Warner and Stoinis, who returned home from COVID-ravaged India after the suspension of the IPL last month, were named in Australia's preliminary squads for the limited-over tours to the West Indies and Bangladesh. The upcoming tours clash with The Hundred which is scheduled to be held between July and August.

"It is obviously disappointing to lose players with the ability of David and Marcus, but the realities of COVID means there are practicalities that are difficult for some overseas players to overcome," the ECB said in a statement on Thursday.

"Replacement overseas players will be signed by Southern Brave, and we look forward to The Hundred showcasing world-class cricket this summer."

ALSO READ - Five Indian women cricketers to feature in The Hundred

Warner and Stoinis had fetched a deal worth GBP 100,000 and GBP 80,000 respectively with the Southern Brave for The Hundred. New Zealand's Sophie Devine had pulled out, too, while Shaheen Afridi is likely to withdraw after being named in Pakistan's T20I and Test squad for its tour of the Caribbean.

All-rounder Andre Russell is likely to be unavailable for the first half of the tournament as he will be busy with West Indies' home T20I series against Australia and Pakistan.

Shadab Khan, who was included in Pakistan's T20I squad, is also set to skip at least the first half of the group stage of the tournament.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :