With 32 games of this summer’s Big Bash League now behind us, we have finally crested the hill of the longest BBL season ever. And that means it’s as good a time as any to start passing judgements on teams.
The BBL season is just under two months away from starting, and with the approaching season comes refreshed and updated squads.
While 18-man squads must be confirmed by the December 8 deadline, some of the teams are getting closer to completion. With that being said, it’s time to update all eight sides for the tournament, which has been increased to a full home-and-away season this year.
Teams are allowed to have two overseas imports, with some of the best T20 players in the world turning out for one of the premier competitions in world cricket.
Status: One player to be confirmed.
Travis Head, Wes Agar, Alex Carey, Michael Cormack, David Grant, Colin Ingram, Rashid Khan, Ben Laughlin, Jake Lehmann, Michael Neser, Liam O’Connor, Matt Short, Peter Siddle, Billy Stanlake, Jake Weatherald, Jonathan Wells, Nick Winter
Coach: Jason Gillespie
Captain: Travis Head
Imports: Colin Ingram (South Africa), Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)
Travis Head leads the Strikers side into the new season. They have talent across the board, with Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan again likely to play a key role with the ball after his breakout run last season.
Alex Carey, Jake Lehmann, Billy Stanlake, Jake Weatherald and Jonathan Wells are the other key names to look out for.
In positive news, the Adelaide-based club shouldn’t lose a heap to international cricket, with only Head, Carey, Neser and Siddle likely to be in consideration for selection across the three formats.
Status: Two players, one import to be confirmed.
Brendon McCullum, Max Bryant, Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, Brendan Doggett, Sam Heazlett, Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Lalor, Chris Lynn, James Pattinson, Jimmy Peirson, Jack Prestwidge, Matt Renshaw, Alex Ross, Mitchell Swepson, Mark Steketee
Coach: Daniel Vettori
Captain: Brendon McCullum
Imports: Brendon McCullum (New Zealand), TBC
The Heat are again led by one of the greatest T20 players in history, Brendon McCullum.
Exciting youngster Max Bryant, along with Chris Lynn, will also be in the squad, while firey, yet injury-pone quick James Pattinson joins the side this season. If he can stay on the field, he will bring plenty to Brisbane, particularly if the Gabba pitch is lively.
Status: Squad confirmed.
George Bailey (c), Jofra Archer, Johan Botha, James Faulkner, Caleb Jewell, Hamish Kingston, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Simon Milenko, Tymal Mills, David Moody, Tim Paine, Sam Rainbird, Tom Rogers, Clive Rose, D’arcy Short, Aaron Summers, Matthew Wade
Coach: Adam Griffith, Ben Rohrer
Captain: George Bailey
Imports: Jofra Archer (West Indies), Tymal Mills (England)
The Hurricanes have Jofra Archer and Tymal Mills back on board as their import players after Hobart managed to make the final last season.
While the West Indian and Englishman will lead the bowling attack, James Faulkner, Ben McDermott, Tom Rogers and prolific, explosive opener D’Arcy Short are the names to watch throughout the season.
It’s likely they will play without Tim Paine for a chunk of the season as he captains Australia.
Status: One player, one import to be confirmed.
Aaron Finch (c), Cameron Boyce, Dan Christian, Tom Cooper, Zak Evans, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Jon Holland, Tim Ludeman, Joe Mennie, Mohammad Nabi, Kane Richardson, Will Sutherland, Chris Tremain, Beau Webster, Cameron White, Jack Wildermuth
Coach: Andrew McDonald
Captain: Aaron Finch
Imports: Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan), TBC
The Renegades are just about locked in for the season ahead, with Aaron Finch to captain the side once again. He is unlikely to feature heavily though, given he is playing all three formats for Australia at the moment.
In his absence, Cameron White would be the anticipated captain, while Mohammad Nabi is the sides only confirmed import at this stage.
Status: Three players to be confirmed.
Michael Beer, Scott Boland, Jackson Coleman, Travis Dean, Ben Dunk, Seb Gotch, Evan Gulbis, Peter Handscomb, Sandeep Lamichhane, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Parkinson, Marcus Stoinis, Daniel Worrall, Adam Zampa
Coach: Stephen Fleming
Imports: Sandeep Lamichane (Nepal), Matt Parkinson (England)
The Stars have gone down a different path with their imports this year. For the first time in history, Luke Wright will be missing from the side, while Kevin Pietersen has also retired.
Instead, they have little-known Englishman Matt Parkinson and the even lesser known Sandeep Lamichane from Nepal.
Outside of their import players, Michael Beer has become a T20 revelation with the ball, Ben Dunk will be looking to get back to his best at the top of the order, and the middle order could have a dynamic duo with both Glenn Maxwell and Nic Maddinson featuring.
Status: One player to be confirmed.
Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Cameron Green, Josh Inglis, Michael Klinger, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Joel Paris, Usman Qadir, Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Sam Whiteman, David Willey
Coach: Adam Voges
Captain: Mitchell Marsh
Imports: Usman Qadir (Pakistan), David Willey (England)
The Scorchers are the most successful team in Big Bash League history. The Marsh brothers lead the show, although may miss some games if they can keep their sports for Australia.
Exciting spinner Usman Qadir has been picked up alongside David Willey, giving them an excellent bowling attack alongside T20 specialist Andrew Tye, Joel Paris, Nathan Coulter-Nile and explosive young quick Jhye Richardson. The competition for spots promises to be high.
They look a little short in the batting at this stage, however, Ashton Turner, Sam Whiteman, Josh Inglis and the experienced Michael Klinger will give a good base to launch from.
Status: Seven players, one import to be confirmed.
Moises Henriques (c), Sean Abbott, Joe Denly, Mickey Edwards, Ben Dwarshuis, Daniel Hughes, Nathan Lyon, Peter Nevill, Stephen O’Keefe, Jordan Silk, Henry Thornton
Coach: Greg Shipperd
Captain: Moises Henriques
Imports: Joe Denly (England), TBC
It’s hard to get too much of a read on the Sixers at the moment with seven players still to be confirmed in the remaining six weeks before deadline. Only one import has been announced so far, with Joe Denly set to lead things at the top of the order.
They have a typically strong squad from what is there, but will lose Nathan Lyon for most of the season through Australian commitments.
Jordan Silk, Moises Henriques, Sean Abbott and Peter Nevill are all names to watch, while young guns Henry Thornton and Mickey Edwards are worth keeping an eye on if they get on the field.
Status: Three players to be confirmed.
Shane Watson, Fawad Ahmed, Jos Buttler, Pat Cummins, Callum Ferguson, Ryan Gibson, Chris Green, Usman Khawaja, Jay Lenton, Arjun Nair, Kurtis Patterson, Joe Root, Daniel Sams, Gurinder Sandhu, Shane Watson
Coach: Shane Bond
Captain: Shane Watson
Imports: Jos Buttler (England), Joe Root (England)
The Thunder have three players yet to be confirmed, but it’s pretty easy to work out what their best XI is looking like. A pair of English imports will headline the batting, with Jos Buttler and Joe Root taking shape, while Shane Watson will again captain the side from the top of the order.
International availability may hurt though with all of Callum Ferguson, Usman Khawaja and Pat Cummins expected to be in the reckoning at some point this summer.
Fawad Ahmed, Gurinder Sandhu and Daniel Sams, coming off a breakout season, are likely to lead the bowling attack.