Ben Stokes hopes the controversial new “The Hundred” tournament will give players on the fringes of England’s squad, including fellow Cumbrian Liam Livingstone, big-game exposure.

Cumbrian Stokes, allocated to the Leeds-based Northern Superchargers alongside former Cumberland fast bowler Richard Gleeson, was in attendance for Sunday’s draft, at which a number of English players went for big fees ahead of the launch of the competition.

It will take place from July 17 until August 16 next year.

Barrow’s Livingstone was picked up by Birmingham Phoenix for £125k and will now play alongside Kane Williamson while Ben Duckett, a £75k acquisition for Welsh Fire, will have Australians Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc as team-mates.

All-rounder Stokes, from Cockermouth, who this year played for the Rajasthan Royals alongside Livingstone, Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer at the Indian Premier League, told Sky Sports: “The IPL is a great tournament to be a part of but it also gets you used to playing in big games. You become accustomed to it because you are playing in front of 20,000 people.

“The players here are going to get exposed to that [in The Hundred] - that hasn’t happened in England before at domestic level. It’s creating an environment so close to international cricket with the best players in the world and in England coming together.

“Livingstone, Duckett - guys who haven’t played much international cricket but will do because they are very good players - will have the experience to look back on and take that big-game exposure with them.

"It’s going to be awesome, a really big thing.”

Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan was the first pick in the inaugural The Hundred draft. The leg-spinner will earn £125,000 after being picked by Trent Rockets.

In total, 96 players were selected in the first major player draft in British sport, with 474 going unsold, with West Indies opener Chris Gayle, South Africa bowler Kagiso Rabada and Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga all missing out on selection.

The teams have one final chance to add to their squad with a “wildcard” pick next summer. The centrally-contracted England Test players were already assigned to teams prior to Sunday’s draft.