Still in search of their maiden BBL title, the Hobart Hurricanes added a variety of talent in the BBL|13 Overseas Player Draft, with Head of Strategy Ricky Ponting calling the shots on an important night for the club.
After unsuccessfully bidding on Sydney Sixers quick Tom Curran, Ponting’s Hurricanes pivoted to a fellow English bowler with the third pick, with platinum pick Chris Jordan set to swap magenta for purple this summer.
The Barbadian bowler will complement Hobart’s pace bowling stocks nicely in the variation he offers with his “new ball overs”, change of pace, and death bowling, slotting in alongside pace ace Riley Meredith and current Australian T20I representative Nathan Ellis.
Ponting applauded Jordan’s versatility, deeming him “a three-dimensional player” and “high-quality international all-rounder”, with a rise in his batting ability over recent seasons making him an enticing prospect for the Hurricanes.
Former Brisbane Heat batter Sam Hain will cross to the Apple Isle in BBL|13 after being added as a gold pick, with the Hurricanes identifying him as an option to bolster their batting lineup.
“We think that Sam will slot in nicely,” Ponting said.
“His strike rate at number four is 148 in T20 cricket, that’s outstanding. He’ll play a role that we need to bat around the power players like (Matthew) Wade, (Ben) McDermott and Tim David. He’s spot on for us.”
“The forgotten man” Corey Anderson was the third and final player to make his way to Tasmania in the draft, with the New Zealand all-rounder recently enjoying a stint with the San Francisco Unicorns in the inaugural Major League Cricket tournament.
“He looked to be going as well as ever during the Major League Cricket only about a month ago,” Ponting said of his team’s silver selection.
“He was one that we were really happy to bring in.”
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Whilst retaining the bulk of their local squad in a solid BBL|12 campaign, Ponting hinted at some potential tweaks both on and off the field in order to push for finals contention this season.
“We’re going to structure our batting order a bit differently. We thought we had a really good squad last year, but it’s not all about the squad you put together, it’s the dynamic that you can create and winning big clutch moments in games” he said.
“It’s just such a fine line in the T20 game.”
After identifying a tactic in selecting three players from Pakistan in last year’s draft, Ponting admitted “there was a fair bit of thinking to go into it” this time around, with the club prioritising availability and consistency over firepower.
“We looked at availability. We looked at the slots that we needed to fill in our squad.”
Pakistan spinner Shadab Khan was overlooked by clubs in this year’s draft after being the Hurricanes’ platinum selection in BBL|12, with the ‘Canes instead relying on the combination of BBL gems Paddy Dooley and Peter Hatzoglou to carry the load this summer.
Ponting alluded to a change in the approach some clubs took into this year’s draft, identifying salary cap concerns and player availability as key components of each team’s thinking heading into the night.
“A few different tactics from some of the clubs this year with a lot of passing at the back end to save some money up for what they might need in the back end of the tournament.”
Satisfied with his club’s selections, Ponting agreed the night was a successful one across the board.
“We’re really happy. It sounds like most teams were really happy with the way it went. It all worked pretty well.”
The Hurricanes have three local roster spots to fill for BBL|13.
Hobart Hurricanes BBL|13 Squad: Corey Anderson (International), Iain Carlisle, Tim David, Paddy Dooley, Nathan Ellis, Sam Hain (International), Peter Hatzoglou, Caleb Jewell, Chris Jordan (International), Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Mitch Owen, Billy Stanlake, Matthew Wade, Mac Wright
Out of Contract: Tom Andrews, Wil Parker, Chris Tremain