The 2022/23 BBL Player of the Year, Matt Short, is set to captain the Adelaide Strikers after a year of stellar form.
Off the back of a dominant BBL12, Matt Short was announced as Adelaide’s captain for the upcoming season. Short was dominant with the bat, scoring a team-high 458 runs on the season, most of which alongside fellow opener Chris Lynn.
Short’s dominance was epitomised in a heroic innings versus Hobart last season, blasting an inspiring century that led the Strikers to the largest run chase in BBL history.
Furthermore, Short’s impact with the ball was one of the more surprising storylines of last season; often taking the new ball, his right-arm off breaks took eleven invaluable wickets.
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Last year’s skipper, Peter Siddle, returned home to the Melbourne Renegades this offseason, and Short will look to drastically improve last season’s seventh-place finish and 5-9 record.
This task is made all the much harder with superstar spinner Rashid Khan ruled out for the entire tournament after undertaking back surgery.
Truly one of Adelaide’s A-list celebrities, Short understands the magnitude of Khan’s impact both on the field and “around the whole country, not just Adelaide.”
There is no doubt that replacing the man known as the best bowler in the world is an impossible task, but with this come windows of opportunities for spinners Ben Manenti and Cameron Boyce.
Englishman David Payne is set to be the man to fill the void, looking to extend his undefeated streak at Adelaide Oval, but as Short mentioned, “[Khan] is the number one spinner in the world for a reason so he’s going to be hard to replace”.
Payne is the Strikers third and final international signee, joining fellow countrymen Jamie Overton and Adam Hose.
After spending last season winning a BBL title as a Perth Scorcher, Short is excited to see what Payne can contribute, “we haven’t really had a left arm quick for a while here in Adelaide, so looking forward to seeing how he does.”
The past few months have been a busy time for Short, representing Australia in both One Day and T20 formats in India.
Throughout these series, his flexibility as a batsman was evident, being asked to open the batting on some occasions whilst being utilised as an innings finisher in the number six slot in others.
The subcontinent conditions were no doubt challenging as the Aussies went down 2-1 in the ODI series and 4-1 in the T20s.
“Its unreal, I love representing Australia it was challenging and very tough however I was hoping for better.”
“Leading into next years world cup I just want to put a performance on the board here and see what happens.”
A thrilling WBBL final saw the Strikers take out their second consecutive championship. A feat that Short believes “is bloody hard, I’ve never done it and to do it back to back is unreal.”
A disappointing Saturday night saw inclement weather spoil the Strikers opening match with the Brisbane Heat without a ball bowled.
The Strikers will be optimistic that the Adelaide weather can clear up ahead of their first hit out of the season versus the Sydney Thunder on December 19th.
Short’s ability to open both the batting and bowling speaks volumes about his value as a player, but it is evident that his value as a leader is quintessential in the pursuit of Adelaide’s second title and their first since BBL07.