The Hundred: Welsh Fire's Jonny Bairstow targets more good times

Jonny Bairstow
Jonny Bairstow has also played for Peshawar Zalmi and Sunrisers Hyderabad

England's Jonny Bairstow says the Welsh Fire squad selection for the inaugural Hundred tournament has the right blend of youth and experience.

Bairstow, 30, will play alongside Australian pair Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc for the Cardiff franchise, after lining up against them in the 2019 Ashes series.

"I played with Starc in 2012 for Yorkshire in the T20," said Bairstow.

"And obviously [I've] played against Smith a fair bit."

Bairstow added: "So getting the chance to work with him and hopefully be successful in what's shaping up to be a strong Welsh Fire side is exciting."

Wicket-keeper/batsman Bairstow is heading for England's T20 series in New Zealand next month and could open the batting for the Fire franchise alongside Somerset's new England call-up Tom Banton.

"The blend of youth and experience we've got, Tom Banton and the way he went about the T20 last season, the international experience of Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc," Bairstow added.

Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc was Welsh Fire's first pick in the Hundred draft

"Then you've got Liam Plunkett and Ryan ten Doeschate who can go through the middle balls of the innings."

Bradford-born Bairstow is looking forward to adding to his list of good experiences in Cardiff, where he made his one-day international debut in 2011.

"I've had some good times in Cardiff, it's a great place to play and the dimensions of the ground suit me," he told BBC Sport Wales.

"Liam Plunkett's bowled well over the years there as well."

Bairstow is currently out of the England Test squad, but is aiming to regain his place in the red-ball format, which would limit his Hundred appearances.

"Naturally, but when you do play, you want to impress and do your team-mates and coaching staff proud, every time you go out there," Bairstow said.

"The games I do play, I'll hopefully contribute to a win for the Welsh Fire."

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