Lee expected to join Sydney Sixers
Brett Lee is expected to remain in Sydney during the Big Bash League and appears destined for the SCG-based Sydney Sixers. Lee is not interested in moving interstate during the tournament and is understood to be close to reaching an agreement with his former Test team-mate, Stuart Clark, who is general manager of the Sixers.
Although the deal is not yet complete, the Sixers have nearly a fortnight to secure Lee, with the initial BBL contracting period set to end on July 22. Some teams have already named near-complete squads, but the Sixers need to lock in at least seven more players by the end of next week, and a further four before the tournament starts in December.
Meanwhile, Kieron Pollard, the West Indies allrounder, will renew his association with South Australia after signing with the Adelaide Strikers. Pollard spent the past two summers playing Twenty20 for the Redbacks and he will be back in Adelaide later this year as the first of the Strikers' overseas players.
"I love the relaxed environment in Adelaide. I travel with my girlfriend and little boy and it's important for me to bring them to a safe and welcoming place," Pollard said. "Although it will be a bit different, I feel I'll be able to relate strongly to the Strikers. We've been successful, and I've enjoyed my cricket when I've been in Adelaide. The management has gone out of their way for me and I want to continue to repay their faith in me."
The side missed out on the services of Shahid Afridi, who also had a prior association with South Australia but chose to sign with the Melbourne Renegades to play with his Pakistan team-mate Abdul Razzaq. Eight of the 16 possible overseas recruits have now been named for the BBL.
James Hopes, the Queensland captain, has signed with the Brisbane Heat. "I'm really excited to have someone who has been a superstar for Queensland for many years in our side," the Heat coach, Darren Lehmann, said. "Hopesy's all-round capabilities on and off the ground are exceptional."
The Hobart Hurricanes have named New South Wales batsman Phil Jaques, Queensland seamer Ben Laughlin and Tasmania offspinner Jason Krejza as their final signings of the contract window. The Hurricanes have confirmed 17 of their 18 players and will wait until later in the year to add a final player to the list.
The squads so far
Adelaide Strikers Aiden Blizzard, Cameron Borgas, Tom Cooper, Callum Ferguson, Daniel Harris, Michael Klinger, Nathan Lyon, Aaron O'Brien, Kane Richardson. Overseas players: Kieron Pollard.
Brisbane Heat Nick Buchanan, Daniel Christian, Ben Cutting, Ryan Harris, Nathan Hauritz, James Hopes, Chris Lynn, Michael Neser.
Hobart Hurricanes Travis Birt, Mark Cosgrove, Xavier Doherty, Luke Feldman, Evan Gulbis, Ben Hilfenhaus, Michael Hogan, Phil Jaques, Matt Johnston, Jason Krejza, Nick Kruger, Ben Laughlin, Rhett Lockyear, Tim Paine, RIcky Ponting. Overseas players: Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Owais Shah.
Melbourne Renegades Ryan Carters, Aaron Finch, Shane Harwood, Aaron Heal, Jayde Herrick, Michael Hill, Brad Hodge, Glenn Maxwell, Andrew McDonald, Brenton McDonald, Dirk Nannes, Nathan Reardon, Will Sheridan, Shaun Tait. Overseas players: Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi.
Melbourne Stars George Bailey, David Hussey, Chris Simpson, Adam Voges, Cameron White.
Perth Scorchers Tom Beaton, Michael Beer, Mark Cameron, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Michael Hussey, Simon Katich, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Marcus North, Luke Pomersbach, Nathan Rimmington, Luke Ronchi. Overseas players: Paul Collingwood, Herschelle Gibbs.
Sydney Sixers Ed Cowan, Moises Henriques, Nic Maddinson, Peter Nevill, Ben Rohrer, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc.
Sydney Thunder Tim Cruickshank, Jason Floros, Usman Khawaja, David Warner. Overseas players: Chris Gayle.