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The Roar


You say goodbye, I say hello: Aussies return to BBL as international stars move on

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11th January, 2023

The Big Bash League is getting a mid-season shake-up with many star players leaving our shores to join the UAE T20 competition, South Africa’s T20 league, while other international players are returning home.

On the flip side, there’s a lot of Aussie talent as well as Test players gearing up to get their ‘fluro’ on, ready to boost their sides back up just in time for the finals.

With no ODI matches in January after South Africa elected to can the white-ball leg of their tour Down Under to allow their players to line up in their new T20 league, it’s the first time in a long time that the likes of David Warner and Steve Smith have been able to return to their BBL teams.

Nine of the 11 players who lined up for Australia in the third Test draw with the Proteas at the SCG will be in action for the BBL over the next few weeks with only pacemen Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood taking the chance to rest their weary feet in a rare vacant spot on their calendar.

Adelaide Strikers

Chris Lynn has had an explosive BBL season so far and will be missed by the Strikers when he goes over to the UAE. They also farewell their super spin bowler Rashid Khan, who will commence playing in the South African T20 league

But Adelaide will welcome back their captain Travis Head from a successful Test series, along with teammate and Australian wicket-keeper Alex Carey.

Alex Carey

Alex Carey of the Strikers. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)


Brisbane Heat

While the Heat will say goodbye to some talented batsmen in Sam Billings and Colin Munro, their replacements more than make up the difference.

The duo will be jetting off to UAE, but Usman Khawaja and Marnus Lauschange are gearing up to take their places. Both will be ready to cause some havoc with the bat, with ex-Thunder player Khawaja set to also take over as captain for the departing Munro.

Hobart Hurricanes

Shadab Khan was already missing from the Hurricanes’ team sheet thanks to a broken finger, but the Pakistani cricketer will now be permanently off the list, heading back home. Jimmy Neesham also bids farewell, as the Kiwi all-rounder makes his way to the UAE.

While there are no big Aussie names joining the squad, the Hurricanes welcome English batter Zac Crawley and Pakistani all-rounder Faheem Ashraf to the fold.


Melbourne Renegades

Afghanistani bowler Mujeeb Ur Rahman says goodbye to the Renegades as he makes his way over to the UAE, along with West Indies spinner Akeal Hosein.

Marcus Harris makes his return from Test duty to help boost the squad, after the loss of the two bowlers as well as captain Nic Maddinson being ruled with a knee injury for the rest of the BBL season.

Melbourne Stars

Not much movement for the Stars, with their only change coming from the departure of Kiwi quick Trent Boult.

Perth Scorchers

Reining champs the Scorchers will be losing two of their biggest strike weapons, with Faf du Plessis heading back to South Africa, and Adam Lyth gearing up to play in the UAE. Test spinner Ashton Agar will come into the side along with fellow Aussie squad member Lance Morris. They will be joined by the English duo David Payne and Stephen Eskinazi.


Had all-rounder Cameron Green not fractured his finger during the Boxing Day Test, we would have seen him in bright orange as well.

Ashton Agar

Ashton Agar of the Scorchers. (Photo by Matt Roberts – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Sydney Sixers

Some big losses for the Sixers with James VinceChris Jordan and Naveen-ul-Haq Murid all on their way to play in the UAE. But the men in magenta will welcome back quite a talented duo to take their place.

You may have heard of them – Steve Smith and Nathan Lyon.

Sydney Thunder

The struggling Thunder are going to miss the strike power of Alex Hales, who has done his best to keep the team’s heads above water. He makes his way over to the UAE, as well as Rilee Rossouw who will go home to play in South Africa’s T20 competition.


But fresh off his ‘Player of the Series’ efforts during the Aussies’ recent Test series, David Warner is set to return to the side to boost the batting power.