(Australian Associated Press)
2018-19 BIG BASH LEAGUE AT A GLANCE
Last season: Winners
Key Ins: Matt Short, Cameron Valente.
Key Outs: Jono Dean, Daniel Drew.
Player to watch: Rashid Khan almost single-handedly won the Strikers the title last season, taking 18 wickets at 13.83.
They boast a well-rounded line up and won’t lose too much because of international commitments. Alex Carey will be absent during the ODI series against India.
Last season: Seventh
Key Ins: James Pattinson, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Key Outs: Jason Floros, Shadab Khan.
Player to watch: Pace bowler Pattinson. He’s on the mend from back surgery and looking to make a statement ahead of the World Cup.
With bash brothers Chris Lynn and Brendon McCullum at the top of the order, anything can happen. They also boast Matthew Renshaw, Marnus Labuschagne and Joe Burns.
Last season: Runner up
Ins: Johan Botha, Jake Doran, James Faulkner.
Outs: Cameron Boyce, Dan Christian, Nathan Reardon.
Player to watch: D’Arcy Short scored more runs than anyone in last season’s BBL with 572 (57.22 average, 148.57 strike rate).
Even without Tim Paine, they’ve got quality throughout their batting line up with Short, Ben McDermott, Matthew Wade and George Bailey.
Last season: Semi-finals
Ins: Cameron Boyce, Dan Christian, Usman Khan Shinwari.
Outs: Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg, Dwayne Bravo, James Pattinson.
Player to watch: Cameron White will shoulder a big load and the Renegades need a repeat of his BBL07 performance when he scored 304 at an average of 76.
With Marcus Harris and Aaron Finch missing, they have a big hole at the top of their order which puts pressure on their bowling line-up featuring the likes of Chris Tremain and Kane Richardson.
Last season: Last
Ins: Jackson Bird, Dwayne Bravo, Travis Dean, Sandeep Lamichhane, Nic Maddinson.
Outs: James Faulkner, John Hastings, Ben Hilfenhaus, Kevin Pietersen, Rob Quiney.
Player to watch: Ben Dunk has twice been the highest scorer in the BBL but he managed just 115 runs last season and the Stars need him to fire.
After finishing dead last, the Stars are under pressure. They will also be affected by the ODI window with Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Adam Zampa to be called up.
Last season: Semi-finals
Ins: Matthew Kelly, Usman Qadir
Outs: Mitchell Johnson, Adam Voges
Player to watch: Cameron Bancroft. He’ll make his return from his sandpaper-gate suspension in the Scorchers’ match against Hobart on December 30.
The Scorchers once again look like the real deal and their attack – featuring the likes of Jason Behrendorff, Jhye Richardson, Andrew Tye and Nathan Coulter-Nile – is arguably the best in the competition.
Last season: Fifth
Ins: Joe Denly, Jack Edwards, Lloyd Pope, Tom Curran.
Outs: Sam Billings, Jackson Bird, Doug Bollinger, Nic Maddinson, Mitchell Starc.
Player to watch: Lloyd Pope has been hyped as Australia’s next big legspinner and could get his chance on the big stage here.
English imports Joe Denly and Tom Curran should play big roles while the likes of Sean Abbott, Peter Nevill and Moises Henriques need to stand up.
Last season: Sixth
Ins: Jason Sangha, Joe Root.
Outs: Clint McKay, Ben Rohrer, Aiden Blizzard, Andrew Fekete.
Player to watch: With their pace attack looking a bit then, spinner Fawad Ahmed will have a big role to play.
English stars Joe Root and Jos Buttler will only be available for the first half of the tournament and the Thunder need them to get the side off to a flyer.