The Adelaide Strikers have announced the re-signing of Travis Head this morning, with the 28-year-old extending his stay at the franchise for an additional two BBL seasons.
Head, who has been an integral part of the Strikers set-up since 2013, will likely be available for BBL selection at the conclusion of Australia’s test series against South Africa on January 8.
He captained the Strikers to their inaugural title in BBL|07 and is currently the club’s fourth leading run scorer in Big Bash history.
Speaking at Adelaide Oval this morning, Head is looking forward to putting on a show for Strikers fans during the upcoming BBL campaign.
“It’s always nice to be home. I don’t think I had any doubts on where I wanted to play so it’s nice to get it done and I look forward to the summer,” Head said.
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Across 53 appearances for the Strikers, Head has amassed 1360 runs, boasting a healthy strike rate of 132.68. In that time, he has recorded eight 50s and one century.
That extraordinary unbeaten century on New Year’s Eve against the Sydney Sixers back in 2015 saw Head announce himself as one of Australia’s most destructive short-form batters.
Almost seven years later and he is now an established middle-order batter for Australia in both red and white ball cricket. Yet the opportunity to play in front of his family and friends at Adelaide Oval remains one of the most rewarding aspects of Head’s cricket career.
“It’s my favourite ground in the world. To play at home, in front of home fans, we’ve had some very memorable nights and hopefully there’s more to come,” Head said.
Last season’s BBL tournament only saw Head feature on three occasions, a reflection of his growing commitments to the national team.
However, in light of South Africa’s recent withdrawal from a three-match ODI series scheduled for mid-January, Head appears likely to be afforded greater opportunity to wear the Strikers colours, something which the South Australian is excited about.
“I loved my time coming back last year. [I] was disappointed not to help the team get over the line in a few of those games, but I love coming back and playing, so to have more time to do that is exciting and I’m looking forward to it already.”
Strikers head coach Jason Gillespie also praised Head’s contributions to the team over the journey, citing his excellent leadership within the playing group.
“Travis has been fantastic over a number of years. Obviously playing for Australia we don’t see him as much as we’d ideally like, but any time he’s available we love having him around and being the leader that he is, he’s fantastic around the group,” Gillespie said.
“He’s a great leader. He leads from the front obviously with his cricket, but also a great guy around the group and has a lot of respect amongst the players.”
The Strikers were knocked out by the Sixers in the Challenger Final last season. They will be hoping to put themselves in a position to win their third title in BBL|12.
Adding to the intrigue of this season will also be the introduction of the first-ever BBL Draft. As it stands, the Strikers’ first selection is at pick five, followed by picks 13, 20 and 29.
Head is optimistic about the prospects of acquiring talent via the newly introduced draft.
“It’s going to be exciting to see the draft and see what we add to the squad,” he said.
“We’ve always had a strong squad and a squad that’s competed deep in the tournament. Hopefully it’s no different this year and we look forward to that. We create a really nice culture here.”
Gillespie also confirmed the club’s preparations for this fast-approaching draft.
“We’re really excited about it. We’re getting our heads together; getting a strategy in place and come August 28 we’ll do what we can to shore up our list and give ourselves the best chance of having success.”
The Adelaide Strikers are due to begin their BBL campaign on December 14 against the Sydney Sixers.
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