The new season of the BBL is underway. This page will keep you updated with all the snippets of news from the tournament
Meredith injury huge blow for Hurricanes
Hobart Hurricanes fast bowler Riley Meredith is set to miss the rest of the Big Bash after picking up a side strain against the Perth Scorchers.
Meredith is expected to be sidelined for between four to six weeks with the focus on him recovering for the return of the Sheffield Shield with Tasmania in mid-February.
Meredith is the Hurricanes' leading wicket-taker this season with 10 wickets in six matches at an economy of 6.68.
"We're expecting this injury will rule Riley out of the remainder of our BBL campaign," team physiotherapist Stewart Williamson said. "Riley had scans yesterday, which unfortunately revealed a significant left side strain that will sideline him for at least a month.
"We will work with Riley on a rehabilitation plan to ideally have him back available for the second half of the Sheffield Shield season."
The Hurricanes have also lost D'Arcy Short after his call-up to the ODI squad for the tour of India but can bring back captain Matthew Wade after the conclusion of the Test series. Ben McDermott, who has been captain in Wade's absence, will continue as wicketkeeper
Lyon's comeback delayed
Nathan Lyon's return to the BBL with the Sydney Sixers will be delayed by a thumb injury he sustained during the final Test against New Zealand.
Lyon split his right thumb dropping a return catch off Glenn Phillips in the first innings although it did not stop him taking a 10-wicket match haul.
He is set to miss matches against the Adelaide Strikers, the Melbourne Stars and the Hobart Hurricanes with a potential return for the derby against the Sydney Thunder on January 18.
"I pride myself on my fielding, especially the fielding off my own bowling," Lyon said during the Test. "I know how hard it is to take Test wickets and when you're dropping catches off your own bowling it doesn't sit really well with you."
Stars bring back Rauf for injured Brown
Pakistan paceman Haris Rauf is set to return for the Melbourne Stars against the Sydney Thunder at the MCG on Wednesday.
Rauf has been named in the Stars' 13-man squad after England bowler Pat Brown was ruled out of the tournament with a stress fracture. Brown was due to replace Dale Steyn who has headed back to South Africa.
Rauf has been a revelation starring in three games earlier in the tournament taking 10 wickets, including 5 for 27 against the Hobart Hurricanes, but was unable to remain in the Stars' team under BBL rules as he could only play as an injury replacement for the two first-choice overseas players in Steyn and Sandeep Lamichhane.
The BBL leaders also have also included Hilton Cartwright in the squad after recovering from injury.
Renegades bring in Samit Patel
Melbourne Renegades have called in Nottinghamshire and former England spinning allrounder Samit Patel for the clash with Perth Scorchers in Geelong on Tuesday.
Patel, 35, has signed as an international replacement player for Notts team-mate Harry Gurney who has been sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Patel has played alongside Gurney and Renegades veteran Dan Christian at Notts and will fill a role that has been missing for the Renegades with the absence of Mohammad Nabi. Patel's only cricket since the end of the English season was in the Abu Dhabi T10.
Victoria fast bowler Andrew Fekete also comes in as a replacement player for batsman Mackenzie Harvey who is departing for the Under 19 World Cup.
Perth Scorchers have recalled Sam Whiteman to their squad but are still missing Australia batsman Ashton Turner due to illness.
Hazlewood makes BBL return
Australia fast bowler Josh Hazlewood is set to make his return from a hamstring injury for the Sydney Sixers against Adelaide Strikers in the BBL on Sunday, his first game in the competition since BBL03 in 2014.
Hazlewood hasn't played since he damaged his hamstring in the first Test against New Zealand in Perth in early December.
Hazlewood missed the second Test and did not recover in time for the third Test but will return in the BBL as he prepares for Australia's ODI tour of India which begins on January 14. Hazlewood replaces Mickey Edwards in the Sixers squad.
The Sixers will be missing skipper Moises Henriques who has headed home to Sydney for pending birth of his first child.
"I don't want to miss my child's birth," Henriques said. "I don't like the thought of my wife being on her own during the experience of labour so I am in a massive rush to get home. But I am very excited about the prospect of becoming a father."
Daniel Hughes will step in to captain the side while Justin Avendano comes into the squad.
Brisbane Heat respond to Lehmann's 'spray'
Chris Lynn has revealed that the Brisbane Heat were given a "spray" by coach Darren Lehmann after their heavy defeat against Perth Scorchers.
The Heat rebounded with an impressive performance against the Hobart Hurricanes - making 3 for 212 as Lynn cracked 88 off 55 balls and the previously struggling Max Bryant hitting 65 off 36 - after some home truths had been shared in the dressing room.
"A couple of blokes got a good spray from 'Boof' [Lehmann] and other blokes got a bit of reassurance," Lynn said. "That's why he's such a good coach, that man management. Not all blokes can handle a spray. There were a couple of honest truths in there.
"I'm really happy with how the guys responded after a fairly heavy touch-up in the debrief post game against the Scorchers and then the criticism we copped in the press and on social media. The boys were quite flat.
"The most important thing is not to panic and stay calm. We could have easily have changed the line-up, but we stuck with someone like Max Bryant who showed his class tonight and that could be the start of something.
"There were two ways to go about it, and I'm really pleased they took the positive option. There's worse things in life than losing a cricket game."
Players pledge to bushfire appeal
Sport is coming together to help raise funds for the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal and Australia's cricketers are playing their part. Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell and D'Arcy Short have pledged AUD$250 for every six they hit during this season's BBL.
"It is special to see so many athletes from various sports getting in behind the real heroes who are fighting to save lives and properties around our country," Lynn tweeted.
In a reply, Maxwell said: "Love it Lynny!! I'll match you on $250 per six I hit in this years BBL. Great cause which is helping so many people around the country who are doing it tough right now.
Later, Short confirmed he would join in and later in the day legspinner Fawad Ahmed added he would donate $250 for every six - and wicket - he in the competition.
Hey Guys, for every six I hit in this years Big Bash League I will donate $250 towards the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal. It is special to see so many athletes from various sports getting in behind the real heroes who are fighting to save lives and properties around our country pic.twitter.com/9MVwNg81GE— Chris Lynn (@lynny50) January 2, 2020
Having been discarded as Melbourne Stars' second overseas player despite seven wickets in his first two appearances, Haris Rauf will return to BBL action in his side's game against Sydney Thunder on Thursday.
Rauf, the fast bowler from Pakistan, was top of the wicket-taking charts after two games of the season, but was omitted from the Stars' games against Adelaide Strikers and Hobart Hurricanes after Dale Steyn - the man he had replaced in the side - returned to fitness.
Steyn has taken three wickets in his two appearances so far, and will line up alongside Rauf at the Showground, with Nepalese legspinner Sandeep Lamichhane rested due to an injury.
The Stars expect Lamichhane to return in time for the Melbourne derby on January 4, and will have yet another overseas combination after that game: Steyn is due to be replaced by England's death-bowling specialist Pat Brown after that fixture.
The umpire and the itchy nose
The umpire at the centre of a bizarre decision during the BBL match between the Melbourne Renegades and the Adelaide Strikers has explained why he went from giving the batsman out to scratching his nose.
Greg Davidson started to raise the finger when Rashid Khan appealed for an lbw against Beau Webster, but as the Strikers players began to celebrate he changed his mind, in a manner that has gone viral.
"It was one of those things, heat of the moment," Davidson told Channel 7. "I started to think and then got a second noise through my head, so I decided to change the decision halfway through, and gave it not out."
The replays were inconclusive, and the Renegades coach Michael Klinger praised Davidson's decision.
"To be honest, I like it," Klinger said. "I think he felt he made half a mistake and he thought that Beau hit it. I think it's gutsy for him to change it halfway through, so I commend him for that. I actually think it's the right call whether it happened for us or against."
New BBL star left out
Rauf has been a revelation in the Stars first two games taking 2 for 20 and 5 for 27 in the Stars' first two wins. But Rauf was only called up as an overseas replacement player when Steyn was rested from the first two matches as he recovered from a side strain.
BBL rules only allow for each team to field two overseas players at any time and with Nepal legspinner Sandeep Lamichhane contracted for the entire tournament, Rauf has to make way for Steyn. Barring any further injury to Steyn or Lamichhane, Rauf is unlikely to play again for the Stars this season, with England's Pat Brown already in Australia preparing to replace Steyn when he heads back to South Africa in mid-January.
New recruit Nathan Coulter-Nile has also been included in the Stars squad after missing the opening two matches with an ankle issue.
Maxwell focuses on T20 World Cup
Glenn Maxwell is taking his omission from Australia's ODI squad in his stride and believes he has learnt how to deal with such situations.
In late October, Maxwell took a break from the game to manage his mental health and produced a dazzling display in his first match back with 83 off 39 balls for the Melbourne Stars against the Brisbane Heat.
That came a few days after he was one of a group of senior players not included for the one-day tour of India next month, with both national selector Trevor Hohns and coach Justin Langer saying it was a decision taken based on Maxwell's one-day form over the last 12 months
"I probably haven't dwelled on it as much as I probably did in the past," he said. "I suppose not shelving it and just not thinking about it, being able to have the conversations with people about it and deal with it appropriately. That's probably something I haven't done very well in the past and to be able to get through the other side and perform well, really makes a big difference."
Maxwell, who secured USD$1.5 million IPL deal with Kings XI, will remain a key cog in Australia's T20I side as they build towards next year's World Cup on home soil - an event which is at the forefront of his mind.
"There's that big carrot I suppose at the start of next season and I'll be doing everything I can to work towards that."
Wright returns to the Stars
Former Melbourne Stars and England batsman Luke Wright has been hired as the Stars' new batting coach. The Stars have been without a batting mentor in the build-up to the BBL after Michael Klinger left the role to take up the head coaching job with the Melbourne Renegades. Wright will join the squad in January. He played 57 matches with the Stars and is currently their all-time leading run-scorer with 1479 and he is the only Stars player to score two BBL centuries.
"I've missed being a part of the Stars group last season so when the opportunity came up to be involved as batting coach, I jumped at it," Wright said. "I'm really looking forward to working with Huss [David Hussey] and helping a really exciting and talented bunch of players prepare for the matches. I can't wait to get started."
Finch calls for BBL DRS
Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts said that he had taken heed of calls by Australia's T20 captain Aaron Finch for the use of DRS in future editions of the BBL, but ruled out its inclusion this season.
In the opening over of the season, Usman Khawaja survived an lbw appeal against Josh Lalor which replays showed should have been given out.
Finch believes DRS should be available as it now is in T20Is, the IPL and the finals of this year's CPL. "I think we should have one review, similar to internationals and ODI cricket," he said. "There's so much riding on games and you know how much of an impact one ball can have or one decision can have.
"Sometimes you're on the right side, sometimes you're not, but I think we've come far enough and there's enough time in the game to have a 90-second strategy break, so to me it would make sense."
Roberts said: "We'll review the BBL in the ordinary course at the end of the season. I was really happy to see the opening match last night and to watch that from home, the first tactical timeout as well. I think Aaron makes a really good point, and also a really good question about DRS. We're not going to be looking at that right now but like all things cricket, as each season passes we review and we consider how we can improve and I think Aaron makes a fair point and one that we would consider going forward."
Renegades draft in Doolan; Christian ready for spin
Alex Doolan has returned to the Melbourne Renegades having been drafted in as a local replacement player ahead of the opening match of the tournament for the defending champions.
He comes into the squad for 19-year-old pace bowler Zak Evans who is recovering from a back injury. However, there is no place for recent Test opener Marcus Harris. The Renegades begin their title defence against the Sydney Thunder in Geelong.
Meanwhile, Dan Christian was watching the Thunder's opening match closely and was preparing himself to face plenty of spin after seeing the impact of Jono Cook, Chris Green and Arjun Nair against the Brisbane Heat. The trio took 6 for 70 from 12 overs to derail the Heat at the Gabba.
Thunder have been good tonight!! Will make sure I get thrown some off spinners before Thursday night's game— Dan Christian (@danchristian54) December 17, 2019