“That was sort of the catalyst for me playing the Blast and trying to push for the Hundred – just trying to play as much white-ball cricket [as possible] leading into this World Cup and put my name out there,” Ellis told the Grade Cricketer podcast. “It’s all I want to do: imagine playing a home T20 World Cup in front of your friends and family.”
Ellis will play alongside several of his Hampshire team-mates at Spirit. While the two teams are not affiliated, Dimi Mascarenhas – the former Hampshire captain – is one of Spirit’s assistant coaches and their squad now includes five-sixths of the bowling attack that won them the Blast in Mason Crane, Liam Dawson, Brad Wheal, Chris Wood and Ellis.
He will also link up with his compatriot Glenn Maxwell at Spirit for the first five games of the season, and Josh Inglis for the final three and the knockout stages. Inglis replaced Maxwell in the squad last year and is understood to have signed as a replacement for him again during Australia’s ODI series against Zimbabwe.
Elsewhere, three English seamers are expected to win late call-ups to the Hundred because Olly Stone (Birmingham Phoenix), Brydon Carse (Northern Superchargers) and Gus Atkinson (Oval Invincibles) are all expected to miss the tournament with injuries. Pat Brown, Jordan Clark, Dan Douthwaite and Craig Miles are among the unsigned players whose names have come up in discussions to replace them.