What to look forward to in BBL 09
Author: The Simple Bit
Category: Short Cuts
BBL 09 is shaping up to be a big season. So what should we look out for as fans? How can we approach the season with a bit more knowledge to take to the water cooler?
The simple bits:
- The Men’s BBL is about to kick of for 2019/2020
- It’s in its ninth season
- We lay out what’s worth knowing ahead of the launch
If your household is anything like ours, summer means days of snoozing with Test Cricket in the background and nights of watching the big slogs and (literal) fireworks of the Big Bash league. Even though we’re not cricket nuts, the BBL has become a staple of our summer viewing. But you know what would make it more enjoyable? Knowing what’s going on. We were caught on the back foot for the women’s Big Bash League (with defending champs the Brisbane Heat hosting the finals on Dec 7 and 8). So here’s a little primer for the upcoming men’s season. For us as much as for you.
Last season on BBL…
We need a refresher at the start of a new season of Better Call Saul, so it stands to reason that we need a refresher for a new season of the BBL.
Last season is remembered as the first full home and away format, with every side playing twice. It started with Adelaide Strikers as the reigning champs, led by Travis Head.
Although the Hobart Hurricanes finished the regular season on top, the final ended with a cross-city rivalry coming to a head. The Melbourne Renegades beat out the Melbourne Stars by 13 runs to claim the title.
Welcome back Steve
There are always big names in the Big Bash, but they don’t come any bigger than Steve Smith. The former Australian Test captain (and arguably the world’s best batsman) hasn’t played in the BBL since 2014, but has signed with the Sydney Sixers for Big Bash 09. He’s likely to be available for the tail end of the series of the finals. Prepare for fireworks.
Former South African skipper AB De Villiers has signed with the Brisbane Heat for six regular season games plus the finals.
Melbourne Stars have Nepalese spin sensation Sandeep Lamichhane for a second season, and have added South African paceman Dale Steyn to their attack.
Continuing the South African influx, the Hobart Hurricanes have bolstered their batting stocks with the addition of hard-hitting batsman David Miller.
And the Adelaide Strikers have added a pinch of Salt to their batting lineup. English batsman Phil Salt has been a key part of the Sussex Sharks’ last two Vitality Blast campaigns, with a strike rate of 172. Boom.
Locals to watch
With Usman Khawaja on the outer for the national team, we might get a little more Thunder from him this season. (He plays for the Sydney Thunder so this was quite clever). Their loss is our gain.
Shaun Marsh has moved across the Nullarbor from the Scorchers to the Renegades in a coup for the reigning premiers. With Marsh on the outer in the test side, we might get to see more of him in the BBL this year. And he already averages close to 50 in the BBL. Youch.
All the White moves
There are always player moves between seasons, but one that caught our eye was Cam White. The former Australian T20 captain has been a staple of the BBL since day one, and is the fifth-highest run scorer in Big Bash history. But at 36, and with Shaun Marsh added to the side, the Renegades let him go at the end of last season. But White has been handed a lifeline by the Adelaide Strikers and will have a point to prove.
This could be the good news the Strikers need, after losing paceman (and most prolific wicket-taker in BBL history) Ben Laughlin to the Brisbane Heat. The Queenslander requested the trade for family reasons.
Ok…you up to speed? Enjoy.
BBL 09 kicks off on December 17 with the Brisbane Heat taking on the Sydney Thunder.