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The team of the tournament

1. Aaron Finch - 354 runs @ 44.25, Strike rate 160.9

Finch was the man who did it all in the 2016-17 Big Bash League. He was the Melbourne Renegades' captain and lynchpin, he scored a stack of runs, kept wicket twice and even became an unlikely end-overs bowler, serving up the final over against the Perth Scorchers (which went pretty well, until the last ball). Finch was smart and intuitive as captain - he made excellent use of Tom Cooper's part-timers in the Powerplay - and also did well as a batsman with four fifties, the most in this edition. He finished the tournament at the top of BBL's all-time run-charts.

2. Brendon McCullum (capt, overseas player) - 323 runs @ 46.14, Strike rate 170.8

The Brisbane Heat fell at the penultimate hurdle but were a team transformed under McCullum, on and off the field. The Gabba had never sold out a single BBL match before this season, and then had sell-out crowds for all five games. McCullum's swashbuckling team were a major reason for this, and he got the best out of junior and senior players alike. McCullum led from the front, too, with a series of typically dashing innings at the top of the order, including an 18-ball fifty against the Renegades.

3. Ben Dunk (wk) - 364 @ 52, Strike rate 163.9

After a badly mismatched trade with the Hobart Hurricanes for Hamish Kingston, Dunk hit the ground running for the Adelaide Strikers, and was the highest run-scorer in the 2016-17 edition. Batting mainly as an opener but occasionally as first drop, he passed at least 30 in seven out of eight innings, going on to score three half-centuries. He kept wicket in five of the side's eight matches and also took his first-ever BBL wicket with peculiar part-time offspin.

4. Chris Lynn - 309 runs @ 154.5, Strike rate 177.5

Lynn is now the BBL's biggest draw. He played only five games but, going into the final, had still hit seven more sixes than any other batsman, He also hit nine more sixes than fours. His three scores of more than 30 became huge, unbeaten innings, and his 98 not out at the WACA - his final contribution of the season, against the BBL's best attack at its toughest venue - was the innings of the tournament, just pipping Ben McDermott's breakout ton against the Renegades.

5. Brad Hodge - 286 runs @ 40.85, Strike Rate 131

It seems remarkable that Hodge - who wants to play on - does not expect to be retained by the Strikers. Sure, the team he captained struggled, with only Hodge and Dunk making 150 runs, but he was a model of consistency. Batting anywhere from opener to No. 5 (the Strikers looked a better team the higher he went in), Hodge tended to start slowly but grew into his innings, and his lowest score was 17.

6. Daniel Christian - 87 runs @ 14.5, Strike rate 126, 9 wickets @ 14.88, Economy 7.4

Christian had a funny tournament. In a struggling Hurricanes order, he misfired with the bat and, for the first three games, his wily medium-pacers went unused by Tim Paine. But when he finally got a bowl, he was a revelation, taking 5 for 14 (at that stage the tournament's second-best bowling figures ever) to set up a win against the Strikers. He was a consistent contributor thereon, and was used everywhere - in the Powerplay, the middle overs, and slog overs, taking a wicket every 12 balls.

7. Sean Abbott - 20 wickets @ 14.5, Economy 8.52

Abbott is perhaps the tournament's most improved player. In 2015-16, he was remembered for being the bowler at the receiving end of Travis Head's New Year's Eve assault in Adelaide. This season, his bowling was a box of tricks, with an arsenal of slow balls - both off and leg-cutters - yorkers and bouncers, plus a deceptive faster one, too. He bowled the toughest overs for the Sixers and was Moises Henriques' go-to man, taking 5 for 16 against the Strikers to banish last season's demons, and also holding his nerve in the semi-final Super Over. Abbott took at least one wicket in eight consecutive matches and will finish as the season's top wicket-taker. He also hit the winning runs in a last-over chase against the Heat, and scored 33 off 17 to beat the Stars and make the semi-finals. He also took seven catches, second only to Ashton Turner.

8. Sunil Narine (overseas) 13 wickets @ 19.23, Economy 7.81

Narine was briefly promoted to pinch hit, and got the Renegades' derby victory over the Stars off to a flyer. Expectedly, it was with the ball that he had the greatest impact. He went wicketless in only match (in that derby, actually), and was always tricky to get away, only once conceding 10 runs an over. In the run-fest that was the Renegades-Hurricanes match, he kept his head to take 3 for 27 (including the wickets of the set McDermott and George Bailey) in his four overs, an economy rate of 6.75 in a match that saw 445 runs at a rate of more than 11 per over.

9. Mitchell Johnson - 12 wickets @ 15.66, Economy of 6.26

Mitchell Mk2 (or is that Mk3 or Mk4?), all relaxed and friendly, has been a revelation. He produced the season's best bowling performance in one of its biggest matches, with returns of 4-2-3-3 in the semi-final against the Stars, but the most striking aspect, perhaps, is how tough he was to score off, especially in the Powerplay. He opened the season with 3 for 33 against the Strikers, bowling outside the Powerplay, but has been at his best since taking the new ball. He was key in helping the Scorchers secure a home final. While he isn't as scary as the Johnson of old, he has proved that mellow Mitch is not necessarily a bad thing.

10. Mitchell Swepson - 12 wickets @ 21.25, Economy 7.5

Wrist-spin has been important for teams this season, and this was a fiercely contested spot that could have gone to Fawad Ahmed, Adam Zampa, Samuel Badree or even Ish Sodhi, who was outstanding in his three games for the Strikers. But Swepson allied consistency across the tournament with the neat variations that made him a constant wicket-taking threat in the middle overs. He took eight wickets in four games for the Heat in the middle part of the tournament, and showed impressive chutzpah to recover from a mauling from Henriques in the semi-final.

11. Andrew Tye - 10 wickets @ 24.9, Economy 7.25


Tye beat Mark Steketee and Scott Boland to the final spot on the basis of his importance to the way the Scorchers play. It says plenty about the standards Tye has set for himself in the tournament that this would probably not rank as one of his best seasons, but he did retain an exceptional economy with his change-ups and took 10 wickets, including 4 for 22 in the vital away win over the Heat. He batted only once and made 42.