When asked about what cricket could do to ensure bowlers aren’t too disadvantaged by the ban on using saliva to shine the ball, Pat Cummins had some novel suggestions every quick can get behind.
It is that time of year, when most players travel all over the world to make their presence felt in the overseas leagues. The Mzansi Super League, followed by the T10 League and the Big Bash League brings along unstoppable and exciting cricketing action for the next few months.
The Indian Premier League set the tone for all of the other nation’s leagues to come together and set up their own carnival in the course. Besides the IPL, the Big Bash League has managed to garner plenty of attention. The BBL has produced talents who can earn big bucks in the lucrative tournament.
Let’s take a look at five players who deserve bids from the franchises for their exploits in the international and domestic arena.
Alex Carey’s inclusion as a sole wicketkeeper over Peter Handscomb for the World Cup became a point of debate for many pundits. Little did anyone imagine that Carey would end up as one of their best batsmen in the tournament.
Such was the impact of the South Australian on the grandest stage that he bloomed under pressure when the top-order batsmen failed to get the runs. His glovework needs more polishing, however – on the back of his skill with the bat – Carey can become one of the million-dollar buys.
Cameron Boyce hasn’t played for Australia since 2016. Having made his debut way back in 2009, Boyce hasn’t been a regular fixture in Australia’s plans in their shortest format – despite promising performances in limited opportunities. The leggie’s omission ahead of the 2016 T20 World Cup was surprising, with the selectors opting for Adam Zampa.
He played an integral role in the title triumph of the Melbourne Renegades in the 2018-19 season of the Big Bash League. He finished the season with 16 wickets from 16 games at a decent average of 24.25. Capable of bowling highly deceiving leg breaks, he can be deadly in the sub-continent.
The 30-year old is also a handy batsman down the order, competent in clearing the boundary with ease. The Indian Premier League is where he could press his claim to play T20 globally.
In the 1980s, it was Craig McDermott who used to run riot with his fearsome bowling. More than two decades later, his son Ben is continuing his legacy. The only difference is that the latter is climbing the ranks using the bat. The 24-year-old has been billed as a long-term limited-overs prospect for Australia.
McDermott hasn’t had a desirable start to his international career, having featured in only 11 T20 games so far with 32 as his highest score. However, his List A average of 54 and T20 average of over 30 – along with a successful BBL season last year – spells that he can be one of the talents to watch out for.
His strike rate of nearly 130 is a testament to the destructive batsman he could turn out to be. A team like Delhi Capitals or Rajasthan Royals could rope in the youngster since they have had a lack of dependable middle-order batsmen.
The fast bowler from Western Australia has taken huge strides in his brief inclusions with the national side, despite the speedster being highly injury-prone and currently finding his way back into the Australian team. Having made his debut in early 2018, Richardson found his best rhythm against India at home in January 2019.
He went on to have Virat Kohli’s number in all three ODIs down under, and a month later Richardson also performed equally well in India. The speedster is capable of making the swing both ways with the old and new ball, along with bowling in alarming speeds.
A fast bowler of such quality should deservedly trigger bidding wars among the franchises.
Riley Meredith is one of the exciting prospects going around in the Australian domestic circuit. Like the current crop of fast bowlers playing for the national team, the Tasmanian can deliver the ball regularly at speeds in excess of 140 kph. The right-arm pacer – on the back of his impressive domestic performances – was selected to play the longest version of domestic cricket.
Having made his Sheffield Shield debut in 2017, Meredith is also shining in the current season of the Australian first-class competition. The speedster is currently among the top-wicket takers, with 14 wickets in three games.
While still raw, Meredith could be unleashed by any franchise since very few may have had the experience of facing him. A stint in the IPL could also provide him with a valuable experience that he could use before an international selection.