Seven English players at Big Bash 8 will be making an appearance at one stage or another. Well, eight…sort of. Let’s find out who they are and what we should expect from them.


English players at Big Bash 8


Harry Gurney (Melbourne Renegades)

A good example of Big Bash sides paying plenty of importance to the performances of English players in the county game. Especially when they’re not regular internationals and can be picked up ‘on the cheap’. And one of the few English players at Big Bash 8 making their debut in the competition.

Gurney has played 10 ODIs and 2 T20s for England but it’s his performances for Nottinghamshire that have caught the eye. A left-arm quick with a less-than-smooth action, he’s been the highest wicket-taker across the last three seasons of the English T20 Blast, performing the all-important role of bowling two overs at the start and two at the death.

Gurney will however only play the second half of the season, as a replacement for Pakistani quick Usman Khan Shinwiri.


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Joe Denly (Sydney Sixers)

No disrespect to Denly but it’s fair to say that the main reason he’s got himself a contract with the Sixers is that England are one of the very few nations who aren’t actually in action for most of the Big Bash tournament. So at least he’s available!

That said, he’s a pretty capable player in this format with four T20 centuries, 29 fifties and an average just below 30. But he wouldn’t make many people’s list of the Top 50 batters in the shortest format, so it’s still a little surprising he’s featuring here.

He’s played for this lot in the past so that’s a plus and he should open the batting. He may also open the bowling with a couple of overs of his legspin to kick things off.


Tymal Mills (Hobart Hurricanes)

Another who’s pretty fortunate to be at the heart of the action. He’s renown as a T20 specialist and of bowling with raw pace but he can be both erratic enough and consequently, expensive enough. Last season, his 10 appearances yielded just eight wickets despite bowling his full quota of overs in all his games and he went for a massive 9.72 runs an over. He’d better make the most of this chance or else it will be his last in the Bash.


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Jofra Archer (Hobart Hurricanes)

Now strictly speaking, Archer isn’t English so he’s not officially one of the English players at Big Bash 8.

He’s Barbadian but is in the process of qualifying for UK nationality on residency grounds. In other words, in a few years’ time, he will be English.

He took 16 wickets from 12 matches last season and went at almost two runs less per over than his mate Mills. A bowling all-rounder, he didn’t get much of a chance to bat last time out but his strike-rate of 137 from six knocks suggest he can make a contribution in this regard, too. He’s an ace fielder as well, by the way.


Matt Parkinson (Melbourne Stars)

The Lancashire leg-spinner is another good example of what we were just saying about Gurney. Last season he took more wickets than anyone else in the Royal London Cup (18) and was right up there with the top wicket-takers in the T20 Blast, as well.

But Parkinson suffered an injury on duty for the England Lions in October and may miss out entirely in the Bash.


David Willey (Perth Scorchers)

One of the true success stories of English T20 cricket and one of the most impressive of the English players at Big Bash 8. Last year he won the IPL with Chennai (admittedly not playing much at the business end of the tournament) and he’s now in his third season of BBL with Perth, winning it two years ago with the Scorchers. Also an established player with England (24 T20s for them) his main weapon are his pacy deliveries and knack of taking early wickets in the Powerplay.

Not one to die wondering with the bat, he can bat just about anywhere, including as a pinch-hitting opener, though 5, 6 or 7 is a more likely scenario. Any possible international commitments are unlikely to affect his chances of playing the whole tournament.


Jos Buttler (Sydney Thunder)

If Willey is a successful T20 player for England, then Buttler is arguably England’s best-ever. Only Eoin Morgan (77) has played more than his 66 times for his country and one of the very few who can boast having had contracts in the IPL, Big Bash, Bangladeshi Premier League and the T20 Blast.

The thing about Buttler is that he scores in all parts of the ground. The other thing is that he scores incredibly quickly as his career strike rate of 144 shows. And 33 50s in this format suggest that he doesn’t just get his runs quickly, he also makes big scores.

A hugely valuable asset to any team seeing as he’s also one of the world’s best limited-overs wicket-keepers, he’ll probably open for the Thunder. If he’d been around for the whole thing he could have been a genuine contender for Big Bash top runscorer.

Not to mention making the Thunder serious Big Bash contenders.


Joe Root (Sydney Thunder)

Root has made no secret of his desire to play in the IPL but for the time being, he’ll have to settle for the Big Bash, his first-ever appearance in a domestic T20 competition outside England. His reasoning for wanting to play is a desire to remain a fixture in England’s T20 set-up, something he’s not guaranteed at present with so many other capable top or middle-order batsmen in England’s ranks, including of course Buttler. The more he plays at this level, the better the player he’ll be, is the thinking.

Root is a good example of how there are many ways to skin a cat when it comes to a T20 innings. He’ll nurdle the ball around, run hard, punish bad balls and only really lash out when well set or when he really needs to. He’ll bat at three or four.

The Thunder have a problem, though. These two are only available till just before the end of the Group stages. They’ll leave a big hole to fill when they report for England duty. Englishman Chris Jordan and Kiwi Anton Devcich are their replacements but neither are particularly inspiring.


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