With the BBL|13 Overseas Player Draft just around the corner, The Inner Sanctum looks at how your team is shaping up and who they could target.
376 players from 29 countries are in line to be selected in this year’s BBL draft, with 23 players elevated to platinum status for the BBL|13 Player Draft which will be broadcast live on Fox Cricket at 7pm this Sunday.
The players have each been designated one of four categories (platinum, gold, silver and bronze) with different salary bands set for each tier. Only platinum players can be selected in the first round, while they can also be taken in the second round alongside gold players. Gold and silver tier players are eligible for third round selections, leaving clubs with silver and bronze players to choose from in the final round.
Each club must select a minimum of two and a maximum of three overseas players at the draft, meaning each club will pass at least once.
Current Squad: Wes Agar, James Bazley, Cameron Boyce, Alex Carey, Brendan Doggett, Travis Head, Henry Hunt, Thomas Kelly, Chris Lynn, Ben Manenti, D’Arcy Short, Matt Short, Henry Thornton, Jake Weatherald
Out of Contract: Jordan Buckingham, Harry Conway, Ryan Gibson, Harry Nielsen
BBL|12 Internationals: Rashid Khan, Colin de Grandhomme, Adam Hose
IN: D’Arcy Short (Hurricanes), James Bazley (Heat), Brendan Doggett (Thunder)
OUT: Peter Siddle (Renegades)
Picks: Round 1 (Pick #2), Round 2 (Pick #10), Round 3 (Pick #23), Round 4 (Pick #26)
In the mix: The Strikers will almost certainly call out Rashid Khan’s name with their first pick, reuniting with the BBL’s premier spin bowler. After earlier threatening to sit out of this year’s edition, the world’s top ranked T20I bowler was a welcome addition to the list of draft nominations, where he looks set to continue his career in blue. While they could rely on Khan sliding to their second pick, the Strikers will be unable to match a bid for the Afghanistan superstar in the rest of the first round should they select another player with this pick.
With Alex Carey likely to be unavailable due to national duties and Harry Nielsen yet to put pen to paper on a new contract, the Strikers are in need of a gloveman and could find one in the form of Joe Clarke in the second round. Mohammad Rizwan would have been a perfect fit for the Strikers prior to pulling out due to scheduling conflicts, while the same argument could be made for Nicholas Pooran. South African star Quinton de Kock would almost certainly be snared by Adelaide should he slip through to pick 10.
Adelaide could look to a left arm quick with either their silver or bronze selection, with Ireland’s Josh Little firming as a leading contender for the pick. Chris Jordan and Jason Holder could both be of interest here, as could all-rounder David Wiese who would strengthen their lower order batting.
The Strikers have one local roster spot left to fill after the draft, with out of contract trio Jordan Buckingham, Harry Nielsen and Harry Conway in the mix, while Jake Lehmann and Daniel Drew are local options that could be looked at as replacement players down the track.
Current Squad: Xavier Bartlett, Josh Brown, Max Bryant, Spencer Johnson, Usman Khawaja, Matthew Kuhnemann, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan McSweeney, Michael Neser, Jimmy Peirson, Will Prestwidge, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Swepson
Out of Contract: Sam Heazlett, Jack Wildermuth
BBL|12 Internationals: Sam Billings, Colin Munro, Ross Whiteley, Sam Hain
OUT: James Bazley (Strikers), Mark Steketee (Stars)
Picks: Round 1 (Pick #7), Round 2 (Pick #15), Round 3 (Pick #18), Round 4 (Pick #31)
In the mix: After retaining the core of their grand final worthy BBL|12 squad, the Heat will look to once again stack the batting to cover for the likely absence of Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne to national duties. The club is in a strong position to pounce on a top name, with Harry Brook, Joe Clarke and Quinton de Kock all sitting atop the club’s wish list after West Indian keeper Nicholas Pooran pulled out of the tournament.
A strong BBL performer for the Heat, and previously the Scorchers, Colin Munro is a chance to line up in teal again this summer, providing Brisbane with a top order power hitter. Sam Billings will also be considered as a retention pick should he get through to the second round after both players were poached from rival clubs last season.
The Heat could look to select a familiar face in Tom Banton later on in the draft with the Englishman eligible for retention, while Jimmy Neesham could provide the heat with a star all-rounder at number six.
After losing a pair of players in the offseason, the Heat have two local list spots empty, with Sam Heazlett and Jack Wildermuth yet to receive a contract for BBL|13, while Bryce Street could be considered as another batting option.
Current Squad: Iain Carlisle, Tim David, Paddy Dooley, Nathan Ellis, Peter Hatzoglou, Caleb Jewell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Mitch Owen, Billy Stanlake, Matthew Wade, Mac Wright
Out of Contract: Tom Andrews, Wil Parker, Chris Tremain
BBL|12 Internationals: Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Zak Crawley, Jimmy Neesham
IN: Peter Hatzoglou (Scorchers)
OUT: Tim Paine (retired), Joel Paris (Stars), D’Arcy Short (Strikers)
Picks: Round 1 (Pick #3), Round 2 (Pick #11), Round 3 (Pick #22), Round 4 (Pick #27)
In the mix: Like the Strikers, the Hurricanes will look to retain their star international from last season, with Shadab Khan providing the ‘Canes with a genuine all-rounder in a draft pool which lacks depth in that area. Should the Hurricanes select another player with the third pick, they will be unable to retain the Pakistan spinner if a bid comes in the remainder of the first round.
In similar fashion to last season, Hobart could look to implement Ricky Ponting’s strategy of recruiting three internationals from the same country, with Pakistan quick Naseem Shah set to come into considerations in the second round. Haris Rauf will be of interest if available, while left armers Josh Little and Tymal Mills are others in the mix, with the latter having previously had a stint with the club before crossing to the Scorchers.
Depending on which direction they go in with their second pick, former Hurricane Harry Brook could fall into their lap and would be hard to pass on, while Mohammad Harris could be on the radar in the third round.
With three local roster spots to fill the Hurricanes could look towards youth in the form of Tim Ward and Nivethan Radhakrishnan, while veteran Jake Doran could be considered. Tasmanian Sam Rainbird is a left arm quick who could allow a draft pick to be utilised in other areas, while Tom Andrews and Gabe Bell have previously been involved with the club, and Chris Tremain is without a contract for BBL|13.
Current Squad: Aaron Finch, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Mackenzie Harvey, Nathan Lyon, Nic Maddinson, Shaun Marsh, Kane Richardson, Tom Rogers, Peter Siddle, Will Sutherland, Jonathan Wells, Adam Zampa
Out of Contract: Fawad Ahmed, Zak Evans, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, David Moody, Jack Prestwidge, Corey Rocchiccioli
BBL|12 Internationals: Liam Livingstone, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Akeal Hosein, Ruwantha Kellapotha, Andre Russell, Martin Guptill, Matt Critchley
IN: Adam Zampa (Stars), Nathan Lyon (Sixers), Peter Siddle (Strikers)
OUT: Sam Harper (Stars)
Picks: Round 1 (Pick #4), Round 2 (Pick #12), Round 3 (Pick #21), Round 4 (Pick #28)
In the mix: After parting ways with Sam Harper in the offseason, the Renegades are in need of a wicket keeper and could look to one of the world’s most destructive batters in South African superstar Quinton de Kock. Nicholas Pooran and Mohammad Rizwan would both be in the mix here before withdrawing from the tournament.
Spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman could return to the club under retention rights, while Victorian spinner Ruwantha Kellapotha may be in the club’s plans further down the track, despite not nominating for the draft. Englishman Will Jacks will be on the radar in a similar fashion to the Liam Livingstone selection last season.
Saqib Mahmood and Gus Atkinson could be looked at as pace bowlers, while Irishman Josh Little is an appealing option later in the draft for a number of clubs in need of left arm bowling. Corey Anderson is another who could be of some interest to the Renegades later on under the same logic.
The ‘Gades still have some decisions to make on their local players, with draft selections likely to impact a number of young Victorians who could be in line for one of the club’s remaining three list spots. Australia A pair Peter Handscomb and Marcus Harris are both awaiting contracts for BBL|13, while Mitch Perry and Jack Prestwidge will be seeking reprieves from the club.
Further down the list, Dylan Brasher, Ashley Chandrasinghe and Fergus O’Neill all await their first taste of Big Bash action. After prioritising spin in last year’s draft, the Renegades could look to a number of options to cover for the absence of big name signing Nathan Lyon, with Fawad Ahmed and Corey Rocchiccioli featuring in BBL|12, while former Australia Under 19 star Lloyd Pope is in the mix after recently featuring for the club’s Academy side.
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Current Squad: Scott Boland, Joe Burns, Hilton Cartwright, Brody Couch, Sam Harper, Nick Larkin, Glenn Maxwell, Joel Paris, Mark Steketee, Marcus Stoinis, Beau Webster
Out of Contract: Nathan Coulter-Nile, Sam Elliott, Clint Hinchliffe, Campbell Kellaway, Cameron McClure, Tom O’Connell, Tom O’Donnell, Tom Rogers, James Seymour
BBL|12 Internationals: Trent Boult, Joe Clarke, Luke Wood
IN: Scott Boland, Sam Harper (Renegades), Joel Paris (Hurricanes), Mark Steketee (Heat)
OUT: Adam Zampa (Renegades), Liam Hatcher (Thunder)
Picks: Round 1 (Pick #1), Round 2 (Pick #9), Round 3 (Pick #24), Round 4 (Pick #25)
In the mix: All eyes will be on the Melbourne Stars who hold the number one selection under new head coach Peter Moores as the club looks to claim its maiden BBL title. With a variety of choices available to them, the Stars look set to bolster their bowling stocks, with Pakistan speedster Haris Rauf looming as a likely selection to replace Trent Boult with the first pick.
Although spin will be at the top of their wish list, Rashid Khan (Adelaide Strikers), Shadab Khan (Hobart Hurricanes) and Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Melbourne Renegades) are the only platinum choices that fit the bill, however all three are under retention rights to their respective clubs, meaning the Stars would have to risk forfeiting the rights to the first pick in order to have a crack.
After securing gloveman Sam Harper in the offseason, the Stars are likely to prioritise middle order batting, despite Joe Clarke being available for retention after securing two Player of the Season awards in as many campaigns at the club. The hard-hitting Nicholas Pooran was sure to be on the club’s radar in the second round as another familiar face, as the Stars could look to a game changing hitter in Harry Brook to sure up their middle order, while fellow Englishman Will Jacks will come into considerations given his bowling ability.
With the top tier of available spinners being aligned to rival clubs, the Stars are set to wait until at least Round 3 before choosing Adam Zampa’s replacement, with Pakistan’s Imad Wasim presenting as an experienced option, although English youngster Rehan Ahmed could come into calculations late in the piece. Out of contract trio Nathan Coulter-Nile, Campbell Kellaway and Tom Rogers await the outcome of the draft, however all remain in the mix to stay in green.
Xavier Crone, Sam Elliot, Cam McClure and Tom O’Donnell are all vying to be one of the final four inclusions to the Stars’ roster after recently featuring for the Stars Academy, while Travis Dean and James Seymour are readymade Victorian batters with ties to the club. Former Thunder spinner Arjun Nair was a shining light in the club’s recent Academy matches, while Harry Dixon is a star on the rise at St Kilda. Former test opener Will Pucovski would be a welcome addition should he gain some continuity with Victoria this summer.
Current Squad: Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Cooper Connolly, Aaron Hardie, Nick Hobson, Josh Inglis, Matthew Kelly, Mitch Marsh, Lance Morris, Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye
Out of Contract: Cameron Green, Hamish McKenzie, Chris Sabburg, Charlie Stobo
BBL|12 Internationals: Laurie Evans, Phil Salt, Tymal Mills, Faf du Plessis, Stephen Eskinazi, David Payne, Adam Lyth
OUT: Cameron Bancroft (Thunder), Peter Hatzoglou (Hurricanes)
Picks: Round 1 (Pick #8), Round 2 (Pick #16), Round 3 (Pick #17), Round 4 (Pick #32)
In the mix: After sensationally passing on their first round pick last season, the Scorchers look to be cashed up and ready to attack the early part of the draft as they look to achieve the league’s first three peat. Phil Salt, a highly regarded English batter, looked in great touch during this year’s Hundred tournament, and could be given a second chance in Perth after withdrawing from BBL|12 due to injury. Top order batters will be a priority for the Scorchers who could look to retain Faf du Plessis after losing Cameron Bancroft, while Nicholas Pooran was previously believed to be at the top of their wish list.
Another player selected by the Scorchers as a bronze pick in BBL|12, Tymal Mills has been elevated to platinum status this year, giving the reigning champions a tough decision to mull over before the clock runs out. Scorchers fans could see yet another familiar face return to Optus Stadium this summer with Laurie Evans on the radar after being retained in last year’s draft. The BBL|11 title winner will be strongly considered, while the prospect of having back to back selections in the second and third rounds could see Perth opt for a change of tactics depending on the tier of their desired player.
English spinner Liam Dawson is another who will be considered late in the draft, with the Scorchers yet to cover for the loss of Peter Hatzoglou, while left arm quick Josh Little could be an option in the final rounds. Known for retaining local talent, the Scorchers have three vacant list spots ahead of BBL|13 with Cameron Green headlining the list of out of contract names the club could look to lock up for this year’s campaign.
Highly rated youngster Teague Wyllie will be a good chance to be promoted to the BBL, while former Scorcher and long-time Western Australian Sam Whiteman is out of contract at the Thunder. Charlie Stobo and Hamish McKenzie are without deals after coming on to the books as replacement players last season, although Cameron Gannon and Corey Rocchiccioli have been impressive for Western Australia in the longer formats when called upon.
Current Squad: Sean Abbott, Jackson Bird, Joel Davies, Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Moises Henriques, Daniel Hughes, Hayden Kerr, Todd Murphy, Steve O’Keefe, Kurtis Patterson, Josh Philippe, Jordan Silk
Out of Contract: Mickey Edwards, Josh Kann, Lachlan Shaw, Steve Smith
BBL|12 Internationals: Chris Jordan, James Vince, Izharulhaq Naveed, Naveen ul-Haq
IN: Joel Davies (Thunder)
OUT: Dan Christian (retired), Nathan Lyon (Renegades)
Picks: Round 1 (Pick #6), Round 2 (Pick #14), Round 3 (Pick #19), Round 4 (Pick #30)
In the mix: Priding their sustainable brand of cricket on familiarity and consistency, the Sixers are likely to bring back their most capped international in James Vince after retaining him in last year’s draft. The T20 Blast’s leading run scorer in 2023 will be a popular option amongst clubs ahead of this year’s draft, with the Sixers likely to select him outright in the first round.
In similar fashion, Englishman Tom Curran would be enticing if he is still on the board in the second round, while Jason Holder gives the Sixers another hard hitting quick to bolster their lower order, with both players previously featuring for the club.
After Nathan Lyon’s surprising departure from the club, the Sixers will be in the market for spin bowling with Mujeeb ur Rahman potentially being available to poach in the second round, while Rehan Ahmed, Akeal Hosein and Tabraiz Shamsi could all be in the mix in round three.
The Sixers have no bigger names out of contract than Steve Smith who took bowlers to all parts of the ground in BBL|12 as he blasted two centuries. New South Wales locals Mickey Edwards and Lachlan Shaw are among a group in the mix for one of the club’s final two list spots with Sam Konstas and Blake Macdonald impressing in recent outings. Chris Tremain remains without a contract for BBL|13 while the club has reportedly expressed interest in Victorian quick Mitch Perry.
Current Squad: Cameron Bancroft, Oliver Davies, Matthew Gilkes, Chris Green, Liam Hatcher, Nathan McAndrew, Blake Nikitaras, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Gurinder Sandhu, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha, David Warner
Out of Contract: Ben Cutting, Toby Gray, Baxter Holt, Ross Pawson, Sam Whiteman
BBL|12 Internationals: David Willey, Alex Hales, Rilee Rossouw, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Usman Qadir
IN: Cameron Bancroft (Scorchers), Liam Hatcher (Stars)
OUT: Brendan Doggett (Strikers), Joel Davies (Sixers)
Picks: Round 1 (Pick #5), Round 2 (Pick #13), Round 3 (Pick #20), Round 4 (Pick #29)
In the mix: In what looks set to become the theme of the first round, the Thunder are poised to retain Englishman Alex Hales who is undoubtedly the club’s biggest priority. The most prolific overseas batsman in BBL history, Hales will look to form a partnership with former Scorcher Cameron Bancroft at the top of the order, with his selection enabling the Thunder to turn their attention elsewhere as the draft unfolds.
Wicket keeper Sam Billings could be on the radar to provide a versatile option through the middle order after being stolen by the Heat in BBL|12, while Joe Clarke could slip through to pick 13.
The Thunder could look to find an all-rounder in the form of Sikander Raza in round three, while David Wiese and Akeal Hosein could be other candidates in line for late selections. English quick Ben Green could be a good find for the Thunder after finishing as the leading wicket taker in this year’s T20 Blast, providing them with a proven wicket taker and another lower order batter.
With two local slots still to fill, the Thunder could look towards former seamer Chris Tremain, while Toby Gray and Arjun Nair could find themselves in the mix as spin options. New South Wales pair Sam Konstas and Blake Macdonald have enjoyed some strong form in recent outings, while Ben Cutting, Baxter Holt and Ross Pawson remain in limbo at the Thunder.