The Australian carnival is set to hit the centre stage on December 19. The final list of players and full squad is yet to be made public. Teams have announced their partial squad before the deadline, 7 December. Each team can have up to 18 squad members with two of them being overseas. Though call-ups are allowed throughout the season in case of injuries or national duties.
The league consists of a total of 59 matches; 56 league games, two semis and a final. The league will start from December 19 with the first game of the season being played between Brisbane Heat and defending champions Adelaide Strikers at the Gabba. The tournament will span across for 2 months before the final being played on 17th Feb.
Let's have a look at the squads till now and the stars from each team:
Hurricanes were considered as minnows last season before the start. But they punched above their weight and finished the competition on a high as runners-up. Hurricanes have one of the strongest teams going into the competition, fielding a range of experienced players. However, they will lose the services of Australian captain Tim Paine to the Test team. Hurricanes are yet to lift the trophy and who knows this might turn out to be their season.
Squad: Jofra Archer(OS), George Bailey, Johan Botha, James Faulkner, Hamish Kingston, Ben McDermott, Simon Milenko, Tymal Mills(OS), Sam Rainbird, Tom Rogers, Clive Rose, D’Arcy Short, Aaron Summers, Matthew Wade
Star to watch out: D'Arcy Short
D'Arcy Short was the league's highest run-getter for the 2017-18 season. Short single-handedly took the Hurricanes forward to the finals. He topped the charts with 572 runs including a ton. 122 not out. It will be interesting to see if he can maintain the same form this season after a disappointing IPL.
Unlike their rivals, the Melbourne Stars had a disastrous season last time. Having all the big guns of the format, they misfired and were the winners of the wooden spoon. Melbourne Stars would love to bury the bad memories from last season and start on a fresh note in the upcoming season. Apart from last season, the Stars had always been a part of the semis and would to repeat the same this time.
Squad: Michael Beer, Scott Boland, Jackson Coleman, Travis Dean, Ben Dunk, Seb Gotch, Evan Gulbis, Peter Handscomb, Sam Harper, Sandeep Lamichhane(OS), Ben Hilfenhaus, Marcus Stoinis, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Worrall, Adam Zampa
Star to watch out: Glenn Maxwell
As the name suggests Melbourne Stars have some of the biggest hitters of the game, Maxwell, Stoinis, Maddison. But to everyone's surprise, they failed to impress in the last season. Glenn Maxwell is a fan favourite with his big hitting abilities and part-time off-spin.
Renegades finished third in the points table last season. The Renegades boast some of Australia’s best T20 players, including Aaron Finch, Cameron White and newly recruited former Hurricanes star Dan Christian. They also have possibly the best pair of overseas players in Dwayne Bravo and Md Nabi. Expectations are high from Renegades to deliver this time.
Squad: Aaron Finch, Cameron Boyce, Dwayne Bravo(OS), Dan Christian, Tom Cooper, Zak Evans, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Brad Hogg, Jon Holland, Tim Ludeman, Joe Mennie, Mohammed Nabi(OS), Kane Richardson, Will Sutherland, Chris Tremain, Guy Walker, Beau Webster, Cameron White, Jack Wildermuth
Star to watch out: Cameron White
Just like Stars, the Renegades do have some of the big names under their hood. Cameron White is one such name. The seasoned campaigner had a brilliant run last season and finished the tournament with the highest average of 76. Renegades also have some big hitters in Aaron Finch and Dan Christian.
The defending champions trot out a similar squad to last season. Going into the tournament the reigning champs may become victims of limited resources as they might miss the services of Alex Carey, Travis Head, Billy Stanlake and Peter Siddle who may have national call-ups. Alex Carey finished the season as the second most run-getter only behind D'Arcy Short with 443 runs under his belt.
Squad: Wes Agar, Alex Carey, Michael Cormack, Jono Dean, Daniel Drew, Travis Head, David Grant, Colin Ingram(OS), Rashid Khan(OS), Ben Laughlin, Jake Lehmann, Michael Neser, Harry Nielsen, Liam O’Connor, Peter Siddle, Matt Short, Kelvin Smith, Billy Stanlake, Jake Weatherald, Jonathan Wells, Nick Winter
Star to watch out: Rashid Khan
The Afganistan's leggy had a great last season with 18 wickets under his belt and going below 6 an over (5.85). He is more than a handy batsman also who can get useful runs for the team in the death overs.
The Sixers won the inaugural Big Bash in 2011-12 but have hardly had been in notice since then. English signee Joe Denly will be key at the top of the order, while proven T20 campaigner Moises Henriques will count on his experience to lead the team to glory. Sean Abbott will be looked upon to guide the bowling unit after he topped the charts for sixers with 13 wickets.
Squad: Moises Henriques, Sean Abbott, Ben Dwarshuis, Daniel Hughes, Joe Denly(OS), Nathan Lyon, Stephen O’Keefe, Jordan Silk, Henry Thornton, Peter Nevill, Mickey Edwards
Star to watch out: Joe Denly
Joe Denly, the Englishmen will be the key at the top for Sydney Sixers. Denly had a good time in T20 Blast and PSL and will count on the same to perform for Sydney Sixers. Sixers also have a good striker and handy all-rounder in the form of Moises Henriques who can be a vital performer in the middle order.
On paper, the Thunders boast some of the hottest property in T20 cricket including international stars Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Shane Watson, Usman Khawaja and Pat Cummins. The ever-young Shane Watson finished the tournament last season with 331 runs. Sydney also has handy spinners in Chris Green and Fawad Ahmed. Going into the tournament Sydney Thunders is one of the four favourites.
Squad: Joe Root(OS), Jos Buttler(OS), Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Kurtis Patterson, Callum Ferguson, Jay Lenton, Shane Watson, Fawad Ahmed, Chris Green, Ryan Gibson, Andrew Fekete, Joe Root, Daniel Sams
Star to watch out: Shane Watson and Joe Root
Shane Watson, the veteran will be the key player for the Thunders. He is still as destructive as earlier. He had a decent outing in the IPL 2018 where he scored a match-winning knock of 106 not out in the night of the finals. Thunders will have a high expectations from their captain going into the season. Joe Root will be another point of interest in this year's big bash as fellow countrymen Jos Buttler at the top.
Brisbane Heat is one of the four teams to have lifted the trophy. With the likes of McCullum, Lynn, Cutting they will aim to claim the title again this season. Brisbane Heat had a strike rate of 128.3, the third highest of the 2017-18 season. Brisbane looks a pretty balanced side on paper. They are one of the favourites to make into the semis.
Squad: Max Bryant, Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, Mujeeb Ur Rahman(OS), Brendan Doggett, Sam Heazlett, Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Lalor, Chris Lynn, Brendon McCullum(OS), James Pattinson, Jimmy Peirson, Jack Prestwidge, Matthew Renshaw, Alex Ross, Mark Steketee, Mitch Swepson
Star to watch out: Chris Lynn and Brendon McCullum
The Bash Brothers, as they call themselves, can tear apart any bowling on any given day. Chris Lynn has the maximum sixes in the tournament's history. It will be interesting to see how many he hits this season. Brisbane also has a surprise package in the form of Mujeeb Ur Rahman. He is a clever off-spin bowler and showed his abilities during the IPL tournament taking a total of 14 wickets.
Perth Scorchers are the most successful franchise in the history of the Big Bash with three titles under their hood. The Scorchers have never missed the semi-finals, and have actually featured in five of the seven finals so far. They had a decent last season before being knocked out by the Hurricanes in the semis. This will also mark the entry of Cameron Bancroft, one of the three banned Australians. Perth Scorchers looks balanced and will aim for their fourth title.
Squad: Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Cameron Green, Josh Inglis, Michael Klinger, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Joel Paris, Usman Qadir(OS), Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Sam Whiteman, David Willey(OS)
Star to watch out: Ashton Turner
Ashton Turner, the young Western Australian lad impressed everyone last season with some match-winning knocks. He finished the tournament with 252 runs at a strike rate of 162.58. Also have an eye on Andrew Tye, who can bowl cutters at will. Tye took 16 wickets last season going at 8.8 balls per scalp.Published 11 Nov 2018, 20:35 IST