FRESH off picking up his awards as CWC Young Cricketer of the Year and PCA Young Player of the Year, Somerset batsman Tom Banton has been selected in the first round of picks for next year's inaugural 'The Hundred' competition.

There is no West Country-based team in the new tournament, but 20-year-old Banton – who was in mightily impressive form in this year's T20 Blast – has been included as a 'local icon' for Welsh Fire, who will be based in Cardiff.

Banton joins England's World Cup winner Jonny Bairstow and Glamorgan's Colin Ingram in the Welsh Fire squad.

He is the only Somerset CCC player to be selected at this stage, but the remaining places in the 15-man squads will be filled via a full draft on October 20.

While The Hundred has proved greatly divisive among cricket fans – not least in the South West, which is not represented in the city-based competition – one can hardly begrudge Banton, and potentially some of his Somerset team-mates, from taking the opportunity to play in a tournament which is set to feature the likes of Jofra Archer, Babar Azam, Jos Buttler, Chris Gayle, Steve Smith, Ben Stokes and Kane Williamson.

There's also the financial reward, with the main draft grid showing that Banton (who scored 549 runs in the 2019 Blast) is being paid £100,000 - putting him in the second highest payment bracket.

Several players who helped Taunton-based Western Storm claim a second Kia Super League title this year have also been selected as part of the women's draft, including England captain Heather Knight, Anya Shrubsole and Fran Wilson.

They have, however, been split up for this competition, with Katie George and Bryony Smith being the England women's central contracted picks made by Welsh Fire.

While Welsh Fire's men's team are to be based in Cardiff, their female counterparts are to play in Bristol and Taunton, as reported last month.

The first picks made by each team are as follows:

Birmingham Phoenix

England men's red-ball contract pick: Chris Woakes

Local icons: Moeen Ali, Pat Brown

England women’s central contracted picks: Amy Jones, Kirstie Gordon

London Spirit

England men's pick: Rory Burns

Local icons: Eoin Morgan, Dan Lawrence

England women's picks: Heather Knight, Freya Davies

Manchester Originals

England men's pick: Jos Buttler

Local icons: Saqib Mahmood, Matt Parkinson

England women's picks: Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone

Northern Superchargers

England men's pick: Ben Stokes

Local icons: Adil Rashid, David Willey

England women's picks: Lauren Winfield, Linsey Smith

Oval Invincibles

England men's pick: Sam Curran

Local icons: Jason Roy, Tom Curran

England women's picks: Laura Marsh, Fran Wilson

Southern Brave

England men's pick: Jofra Archer

Local icons: James Vince, Chris Jordan

England women's picks: Anya Shrubsole, Danni Wyatt

Trent Rockets

England men's pick: Joe Root

Local icons: Alex Hales, Harry Gurney

England women's picks: Nat Sciver, Katherine Brunt

Welsh Fire

England men's pick: Jonny Bairstow

Local icons: Tom Banton, Colin Ingram

England women's picks: Katie George, Bryony Smith