Australia news July 7, 2011

Voges, Simpson sign with Stars


The Melbourne Stars have poached three current and former state captains from around the country in a bid to be the tactical masters of the Big Bash League. The MCG-based Stars have signed Adam Voges, a regular stand-in skipper of Western Australia, Chris Simpson, the former Queensland captain, and the Tasmania leader, George Bailey.

The trio will be joined by Victoria's captain, Cameron White, and the man who has often deputised for him at state level, David Hussey. The Stars were the last of the eight city-based sides to confirm its first players, but coach Greg Shipperd said he was thrilled to have secured five such experienced and level-headed men.

"We wanted players who understood the pressure of the game, understood the tactical side of the game," Shipperd said. "We'd be disappointed across the course of the competition if we were tactically out-thought. It's very important in starting off a new franchise that we get things right both on and off the field. With those five signings today we've started in the right direction."

Bailey would have been the logical choice as captain of the Hobart Hurricanes, but he has a Melbourne-based girlfriend and was keen to spend time in Victoria. Simpson, an offspinning allrounder, lost his Queensland contract this year after slipping out of the Sheffield Shield and Ryobi Cup sides, but remains a potential matchwinner in Twenty20.

Attracting Voges, who has played 19 ODIs and Twenty20s for Australia, was a bonus, and he should be available for the full competition having dropped out of Cricket Australia's 25-man contract list. Hussey considered a similar cross-country move to return to his home city of Perth, but decided to remain in Melbourne.

"There was a little bit of a thought there," Hussey said. "My wife and I are both from Perth, but playing at the MCG under Shippy and [assistant coach] Damien Wright is a pretty big motivation to stay here."

Meanwhile, the Adelaide Strikers have signed up another seven players, all men who are currently on the books with South Australia. Callum Ferguson, Aiden Blizzard, Kane Richardson, Tom Cooper, Aaron O'Brien, Michael Klinger and Nathan Lyon have joined the Strikers, who had already secured Cameron Borgas and Daniel Harris.

However they were unable to secure the signature of the allrounder Dan Christian, who has decamped to the Brisbane Heat, a team that happens to be coached by Darren Lehmann, Christian's coach at Deccan Chargers in the IPL.

"You want quality people with great skills in your organisation and Dan certainly brings both," the Heat's general manager Andrew Blucher said. "He is a very clever bowler, a very powerful batsman and simply a great signing for our team."

The Strikers are believed to be trying to leave room in their salary cap to sign Kieron Pollard and Shahid Afridi, while the return of legspinner Adil Rashid to the Adelaide Oval is also a possibility.

The Sydney Sixers have added Tasmania opener Ed Cowan, who is originally from Sydney, to their list, along with the fast bowler Mitchell Starc. Ricky Ponting signed with the Hobart Hurricanes, and is hoping to play two matches early in the campaign between Test matches.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 10, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    Doesn't matter that it's Hopes. It says three of the captains pictured, so it refers to Voges, White and Baily. Got nothing to do with Simpson or Hopes. But I agree with Fazald, the concept is a joke!

  • Dummy4 on July 8, 2011, 1:29 GMT

    yep, that's james hopes. has he signed for the stars too??

  • Fazal on July 8, 2011, 0:55 GMT

    This "Big Bash League" T20 tournament is a good plan hatched by Cricket Australia not only to destroy test cricket in this country but also to destabilise state cricket teams of their big stars.Is this what is required at this moment when test cricket in this country is heading towards disaster? Cricket Australia please get your priorities right.Money is not everything our credibility as a powerful nation in test cricket is much more important. Leave this rubbish to the IPL.

  • Dan on July 7, 2011, 22:48 GMT

    You do know that is James Hopes and not Chrsi Simpson in that photo?

  • Bryn on July 7, 2011, 15:50 GMT

    it think its great that ricky wants to play for his home team. very noble. and how good is that for the team and the league? you need to big names playing if they can. in other news did you know that james brayshaw is going to be the chairman of the renegades? just saw it on the footy show.

  • Robert on July 7, 2011, 15:23 GMT

    @meety and straight_drive4. Ponting has only retired from International T20. For IPL he has been saying he is unavailable in seasons so far to have a breather. I am sure he will play IPL next year now he is not captain.

  • Dummy4 on July 7, 2011, 11:37 GMT

    @ straight_drive4 well he gotta have a retirement plan. I guess it wouldnt be too long be4 he appeared in IPL.

  • Basil on July 7, 2011, 10:57 GMT


  • Dummy4 on July 7, 2011, 8:14 GMT

    One helavva tournament to look forward too...hope it gets global on the air.

  • Dummy4 on July 7, 2011, 8:07 GMT

    big mistake signing chris simpson, the only exp he has is failing miserably at cricket, can't bat, can't bowl

  • No featured comments at the moment.