Head and Labuschagne ink in BBL deals for post-Test stint

It remains uncertain whether Steven Smith will be among the Australia players involved

Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne will get decent spells in the BBL this season

Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne will get decent spells in the BBL this season  •  Getty Images

Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne have re-signed for Adelaide Strikers and Brisbane Heat respectively ahead of the BBL, with the pair among Australia's Test players who will be available after the end of the South Africa series in early January, but Steven Smith is not yet certain to appear.
Both Head and Labuschagne were expected to continue their associations with the clubs having played in previous seasons when international commitments have allowed, but confirmation is still a boost for the tournament which is set to lose a number of overseas players to the South Africa and UAE leagues from early January and with the fact some multi-format players will rest.
The pair are among the Australia players whose schedule has been freed for a larger period of the BBL than would have been the case before South Africa withdrew from the ODI series that would have followed the Sydney Test.
Both should be available for six regular-season games and then the finals if their teams make it that far.
Last season Head was only able to play three matches for Strikers following his spectacular Ashes campaign where he was Player of the Series, while Labuschagne appeared just once for Heat who did not make the finals.
David Warner's major offer to return to Sydney Thunder is expected to be confirmed soon having last played BBL in 2013 after he had been linked to the ILT20 in the UAE. Smith was considered likely to return to Sydney Sixers but the Sydney Morning Herald reported that he had turned down an initial offer amid uncertainty over whether he'll want to rest after the Test series.
Mitchell Starc has already said he will use the period to rest during a hectic Test schedule that will see Australia play nine matches from late November to mid-March - two against West Indies, three against South Africa and four against India - having also been part of the T20 World Cup. Test captain Pat Cummins is expected to follow the same path while it remains uncertain whether Josh Hazlewood or allrounder Cameron Green will be part of the tournament.
"This year I think we're playing something like 16 tests; that's a lot for our bowlers to take," Labuschagne said. "And you've got people with young families, some with high workloads playing three formats all the's hard to expect those guys to always be available."
Australia's white-ball only players will be available for the full duration of the competition.