Summer has finally arrived, and this holiday season is set to be a blockbuster with not one but two Twenty20 tournaments to watch.
The T20 Big Bash League has become one of the most entertaining competitions run during the Aussie summer, and it looks set for its biggest season yet. If that’s not enough to satisfy your cricket taste buds, don’t worry! The inaugural Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) is set to start this Saturday and will continue right across the summer.
A wide range of Spartan ambassadors are competing this season, so we’ve compiled a quick summary of what you can expect from them… there’s sure to be some fireworks!
Allrounder, Melbourne Renegades
Regarded as one of the most destructive batsmen to have ever played the game, Chris is definitely the batsman to watch this season. The ICC rankings have him listed in the top ten T20 batsman, and for good reason. With an average of 44.21 in T20 franchise competitions and a record-breaking high score of 175*, the Renegades will be relying on Chris for some explosive batting at the top of the order.
Fast Bowler, Melbourne Renegades
After playing all of his first-grade cricket in Queensland, Cameron is heading south of the border hoping to rediscover the form he had in BBL03 which saw him finish as the tournament’s leading wicket-taker. He’s already bagged 22 wickets in the Twenty20 format, so the right-arm quick adds much needed pace and experience to the Renegades attack.
Allrounder, Sydney Thunder
The Bahrain-born allrounder had a stellar season with Manly-Warringah in the Sydney Grade Competition.The 29 year old’s crafty left hand off-spin saw him average 28.6 with the ball and 36.4 with the bat. Ahillen represented Australia at the Under-19 World Cup in 2004 and is back for his second season with the Thunder.
Batsman, Sydney Thunder
He may be small in stature but Aiden Blizzard is one of the biggest hitters in T20 cricket. His career has seen him play all over the world in a number of T20 competitions, from India to England to New Zealand. Aiden’s ability to hit sixes at a high strike rate has made him one of the most valuable players in the Big Bash League.
Allrounder, Sydney Thunder
Andrew is one of the most experienced members in the Thunder squad, having played T20 cricket for over a decade. In this time, he’s scored 1,736 runs and taken 81 wickets at 23.03. A former Test player for Australia, Andrew’s power hitting game is a huge asset for the Thunder. His red hair and surname have given him the nickname ‘Ronnie’.
Fast Bowler, Sydney Thunder
Born and bred in western Sydney, Gurinder has become a consistent performer for the Thunder. At only 22 years of age, the ‘G-Man’ has already starred in the Indian Premier League and earned 2 ODI caps. Last season the right arm quick claimed 8 wickets for the tournament and he will be leading the Thunder pace attack again this year.
Coach, Brisbane Heat
The former New Zealand allrounder has made a smooth transition from player to coach. His performance in the World Cup earlier this year was a fitting finale for the Kiwi veteran. Besides taking 15 wickets, he also showed off his fielding agility with a stunning one-handed catch. Having already coached Bangalore to a top four spot in the Indian Premier League, he will be looking to do the same with the Heat.
Fast Bowler, Brisbane Heat
Young gun Holly Ferling has quickly become one of Australia’s premier fast bowlers, and will lead the pace attack for the Heat. The 19 year old helped the Southern Stars reclaim the Ashes from England in mid-2015, and has an impressive T20 bowling average of 20.60. The inaugural WBBL season is set to catapult her career even further.
Batsman, Brisbane Heat
Before earning his Baggy Green for Australia, Joe was starring for the Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League. He contributed 248 runs at an average of 31 in the Heat’s title-winning season of 2012/13. Joe’s adaptability with the bat allows him to slot in anywhere in the batting order, and he is set to be an automatic call-up to the Heat when not on Australian duties.
Fast Bowler, Brisbane Heat
Queensland country boy Mark Steketee will line up for his third season with the Heat this year. He may only be 21 years old, but Mark has been quick to impress in Australian state cricket, with his 11 wickets placing him in the top six bowlers of the Australian one-day domestic tournament in October. The young quick will be looking to carry this form into the T20 format.
Allrounder, Sydney Sixers
As a former South African captain, Johan brings a wide range of talents to the Sixers squad: economic spin bowling, powerful lower-order batting and outstanding leadership. His distinguished T20 career has seen him play for a variety of T20 franchises over the years, with this season being his first with the Sixers. His experience is sure to benefit when the game is on the line.
Fast Bowler, Sydney Sixers
The youngest and tallest member of the Sixers squad, Mickey lists former Australian quick Brett Lee as his idol. His pace and bounce are the main assets he utilises for his grade club Manly-Warringah, where he has already become the talk of the town. At just 20 years old, this fast bowling prodigy is going to be a handful for batsmen.