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Feature

What might BBL teams want this season? Here's a comprehensive tactical guide to the draft

A rundown factoring player availability, team dynamics, and the order of the picks

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
26-Aug-2022
The BBL overseas draft takes place on Sunday, with each team able to sign up to three players from the 332 who have nominated themselves. There could be some fascinating tactics. How big of a role will retention picks play, and could there be some surprise picks? ESPNcricinfo runs through how each squad is currently shaping up, and what each club will likely want from the draft.

Adelaide Strikers

Current list: Wes Agar, Cameron Boyce, Alex Carey, Harry Conway, Ryan Gibson, Travis Head, Henry Hunt, Thomas Kelly, Chris Lynn, Harry Nielsen, Matthew Renshaw, Matt Short, Henry Thornton, Jake Weatherald
Last season's overseas: Rashid Khan, Ian Cockbain, George Garton
Draft picks: 5, 13, 20 and 29
What might they want?
Rashid Khan will surely end up back at Strikers - the retention rule has been colloquially named after him - even though he won't be available come January due to South Africa's own T20 league. Getting Chris Lynn for 11 games is a very good result, but having lost Matt Renshaw back to Brisbane Heat, they will likely still want some top-order cover before Travis Head and Alex Carey arrive from Test duty.
An extra pace bowler could be another route, with the variation of a left-armer - they had George Garton last season - always sought after in T20s. Mohammad Amir should be available all tournament, and could be of interest to a few teams.

Brisbane Heat

Current list: Xavier Bartlett, James Bazley, Max Bryant, Sam Heazlett, Usman Khawaja, Matt Kuhnemann, Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser, Jimmy Peirson, Matt Renshaw, Mark Steketee, Mitchell Swepson, Jack Wildermuth
Last seasons overseas: Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ben Duckett, Tom Abell, Fakhar Zaman
Draft picks: 3, 11, 22 and 27
What might they want?
Not renewing Lynn's deal was the biggest off-season domestic move, coupled with the signing of Usman Khawaja from Sydney Thunder. They would appear in the market for at least one more top-order batter - particularly for the period Khawaja is on Test duty - with talk they will go after Faf du Plessis.
Heat could use their retention card for Mujeeb Ur Rahman to get him before his ILT20 stint, but their spin resources should be boosted by greater availability of Mitchell Swepson, with Covid bubbles no longer required. Another allrounder for that No. 6 or 7 position - or a quick bowler - would also look a decent fit.

Hobart Hurricanes

Current list: Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Caleb Jewell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Mitch Owen, Joel Paris, Wil Parker, D'Arcy Short, Matthew Wade
Last seasons overseas: Sandeep Lamichhane, Jordan Cox, Jordan Thompson, Harry Brook
Draft picks: 8, 16, 17, 32
What might they want?
With Ricky Ponting in charge, Hurricanes will be one of the most interesting sides to watch. However, they were dealt a tough hand by coming out last in the weighted lottery for the draft order. Spin-bowling will be high on their list, with only 20-year-old legpsinner Wil Parker among their current squad, aside from D'Arcy Short's left-arm wristspin.
Sandeep Lamichhane has been part of their side over the last two seasons, and could be retained before he goes to the ILT20 but they will likely need more as well. England legspinner Matt Parkinson, who is yet to be acquired by another league, could fit the bill, or perhaps Shadab Khan from the platinum group.
The top order is well stocked, and won't be hit by international calls, but there could be room for another allrounder - maybe a pace-bowler who could hit with the bat too. David Willey or Chris Jordan with their death skills could fit well for them from the platinum set instead of Shadab.

Melbourne Renegades

Current list: Nic Maddinson, Zak Evans, Aaron Finch, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Sam Harper, Mackenzie Harvey, Shaun Marsh, Kane Richardson, Tom Rogers, Jon Wells
Last seasons overseas: Unmukt Chand, Mohammad Nabi, Zahir Khan, Reece Topley
Draft picks: 1, 9, 24, 25
What might they want?
It has been said for a few seasons, but the only way for Renegades is up after three consecutive wooden spoons. And they have the No. 1 pick. On paper, at least, they have a decent batting order boosted by the recruitment of Jon Wells from Strikers. In a recent interview on Seven, Aaron Finch noted how conditions at the Marvel Stadium had sometimes made it tough to attract overseas top-order batters.
It is understood that they could go after Liam Livingstone, who would certainly bring some power before leaving for South Africa. From a bowling point of view, Trent Boult will be very tempting.
They could also use the retention option - if needed - on Reece Topley, whose stock has risen after an excellent season with England - again, though, he would leave by January. They also need a spinner - or two - and may yet come to regret releasing Cameron Boyce.

Melbourne Stars


Current list: Joe Burns, Hilton Cartwright, Brody Couch, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Liam Hatcher, Clint Hinchliffe, Nick Larkin, Glenn Maxwell, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Beau Webster, Adam Zampa
Last seasons overseas: Andre Russell, Joe Clarke, Qais Ahmed, Haris Rauf, Syed Faridoun, Ahmed Daniyal
Draft picks: 2, 10, 23, 26
What might they want?
Unless Renegades go for him first, as pick No. 2, Stars will get first dibs on Andre Russell, and so may not need to burn their retention card to keep him. That would open the door for using that with Joe Clarke if needed. Clarke, who is a gold-only pick, has availability all season, and would provide the wicketkeeping role which he did last season.
Another option would be to aim for Sam Billings in the platinum group instead of Russell, although Thunder may then opt to retain him, and he is only available for part of the season. With Billy Stanlake's fitness status still uncertain and the injury record of Nathan Coulter-Nile, another fast bowler could be on the list - maybe Boult as their platinum pick - or a spinner to support Adam Zampa.

Perth Scorchers

Current list: Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Cooper Connolly, Aaron Hardie, Peter Hatzoglou, Nick Hobson, Josh Inglis, Matt Kelly, Mitch Marsh, Lance Morris, Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye
Last seasons overseas: Colin Munro, Tymal Mills, Laurie Evans
Draft picks: 6, 14, 19, 30
What might they want?
The defending champions will be another very interesting team to watch given their list-management philosophy. They were considered a strong contender to skip the platinum round given their preference for season-long deals, but the full availability of Willey could be very tempting as a former Scorchers' player.
After losing Kurtis Patterson to Sydney Sixers, they ideally need a top-order left-hander, and while they could retain Colin Munro, he has a deal in the ILT20. The likelier retention option, if he was taken by another side, would appear to be Laurie Evans, whose middle-order role was vital last season with a match-winning hand in the final - he could also be a value pick as a bronze player if still available by then.
A pace bowler with good ball speed is another potential option in case Jhye Richardson is on Australia duty.

Sydney Sixers

Current list: Sean Abbott, Jackson Bird, Daniel Christian, Ben Dwarshuis, Moises Henriques, Daniel Hughes, Hayden Kerr, Nathan Lyon, Stephen O'Keefe, Kurtis Patterson, Josh Philippe, Jordan Silk
Last seasons overseas: James Vince, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Shadab Khan
Draft picks: 4, 12, 21, 28
What might they want?
Another team whose list strategy favours loyalty. James Vince's ILT20 deal could make it a tricky decision over whether to bring him back for the first part of the competition, but he has formed a compelling partnership with Josh Philippe, and they could hold hoping to get him at silver.
Either way, they will likely want a top-order batter. Cover in the spin department appears needed, too, with Nathan Lyon on Test duty and Steve O'Keefe having had injury problems last season. Could they opt for Shadab as their platinum? In previous seasons, they have also targeted a specialist pace bowler in the death overs. Tom Curran could well return; along with Jordan, both are possible retention options.
Given they have the fourth pick in the draft, plenty of platinum players will remain available for them regardless of who has already been taken.

Sydney Thunder

Current list: Ollie Davies, Brendan Doggett, Matthew Gilkes, Chris Green, Baxter Holt, Nathan McAndrew, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Jason Sangha, Tanveer Sangha, David Warner
Last seasons overseas: Alex Hales, Sam Billings, Mohammad Hasnain, Saqib Mahmood
Draft picks: 7, 15, 18, 31
What might they want?
Sam Billings being a platinum pick, and Alex Hales, it is understood, being available down in silver if he is still not drafted by that point could make things interesting. Would Thunder use their retention pick on Billings if needed, or keep it for Hales? They could, of course, get both if things fall their way.
They know David Warner will come in for the last five games to bolster the top order. But having lost Khawaja, they could be on the lookout for two top-order batters.
Having had Saqib Mahmood and Mohammad Hasnain last season, another quick bowler would also appear a good fit.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo