One of the interesting aspects of looking ahead to another Big Bash season is knowing which Big Bash players have moved and where. Here we’ll look at which players have jumped ship in search of bigger paychecks or more playing opportunities, which overseas players will be playing Big Bash cricket for the first time and who has decided to call it a day, either through retirement or opting to give this competition a miss. We’re looking mostly at the biggest names so not all players have been included.
New Big Bash players for Big Bash 9
A reminder that ahead of BBL9, teams can now sign up to six overseas players over the course of the season but only field two in any match, one of several Big Bash changes ahead of the 2019/20 season.
AB de Villiers (Brisbane Heat)
‘The Biggest signing in the History of the Big Bash’ is how the former South African captain’s arrival at the Heat was described by the Big Bash itself. At one stage or another just about every BBL franchise was said to be interested in signing him (and why not?) but in the end he was lured by the chance to work with new coach Darren Lehman. Not to mention the chance of playing at the Gabba, one of the best T20 wickets in the world. De Villiers also spoke about his desire to play for a side who always adopt an aggressive and attacking style of play as a reason for picking the Heat.
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The brilliant middle-order dasher, also one of the world’s best fielders, is a huge boost to the Heat and the BBL as a whole and will surely be the Big Bash player featuring in the most Marketing communications and promotions given his profile. But before thinking about backing him for Big Bash top batsman, you should be aware that he’ll only be around for the second half of the season. He’s expected to make his debut on January 14.
Alex Hales (Sydney Thunder)
The England T20 opener has signed a one-year deal with the Thunder after previous stints with the Melbourne Renegades, Adelaide Strikers and Hobart Hurricanes. He’ll essentially be replacing Jos Buttler at the top of the order, who is unavailable due to international commitments. Hales is currently out of the England set-up after a failed drugs test led to his exclusion from the World Cup squad but remains one of the most destructive openers in this format. He’s the only England player to have a T20I century to his name.
Phil Salt (Adelaide Strikers)
The Sussex man will already have a couple of mates at the Strikers when he joins up with them. He played alongside fellow overseas star Rashid Khan and keeper-batsman Alex Carey at the English county during this year’s T20 Blast. The big hitting batsman was the Sharks’ top scorer with 406 runs and is replacing Colin Ingram as the side’s main second overseas player. Also a fine fielder.
Zahir Khan (Brisbane Heat)
Yet another Afghanistan spinner making a name for himself in limited-overs cricket, following in the footsteps of Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and co. Far less experienced than all those with just two international appearances to his name, the left arm chinaman bowler will probably just play the first half of the season until… de Villiers arrives to fill the second overseas spot.
Chris Morris (Sydney Thunder)
The South African all-rounder, who put in some strong displays at the World Cup in his side’s ill-fated campaign, will be making his Big Bash debut this year. Expect him to bowl four overs of good, accurate medium-fast bowling and bat at six or seven. No run chase is over while he’s still at the crease.
Big Bash Players: Transfers from other BBL teams
Shaun Marsh (Perth Scorchers to Melbourne Renegades)
One of the best Big Bash players to have graced the league since its inception and one of the more unexpected moves of this year’s Big Bash. Shaun Marsh was a stalwart of the Scorchers during those years when they were so successful, scoring lots of runs at the top of the order but has decided he wants a fresh challenge. No longer likely to feature for Australia in any format, he should be available for the whole tournament and is a huge boost to their line-up with his experience and vast knowledge of Big Bash wickets.
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Cameron White (Melbourne Renegades to Adelaide Strikers)
Speaking of experienced Big Bash players, they don’t come much more experienced than Cameron White. The 36 year-old has played close to 300 T20 matches and has two T20- centuries and 40 fifties to his name.
Cameron White in his Melbourne Stars days.
Not content with winning the Big Bash last year with the Renegades, he now wants to do it all over again with the Strikers after previously playing for the Melbourne Stars.
An important calming influence in any middle-order.
Fawad Ahmed (Sydney Thunder to Perth Scorchers)
Another veteran making a big move late on in his career. The 37-year old has played for the Renegades and more recently for the Thunder and will be giving the Scorchers something they haven’t had since Brad Hogg jumped ship to the Renegades: a classy spinner who can strangle batsmen in the middle-overs. An excellent signing for them, especially with so many other players leaving the Scorchers.
Nathan Coulter-Nile (Perth Scorchers to Melbourne Stars)
The 31-year old is one of those players who has left the Scorchers. Mostly a right-arm fast bowler but also capable of some big hits down the order, he was a member of Australia’s squad at the World Cup, playing in their first few matches. A reliable salt-of-the-earth player who might be exactly what the Stars need.
Hilton Cartwright (Perth Scorchers to Melbourne Stars)
A batting all-rounder with two Tests and two ODIs for Australia to his name, he’ll provide even more batting depth to a Stars side already boasting Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Peter Handscomb. Could prove to be a shrewd signing.
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Retirements since Big Bash 8
Johan Botha (Hobart Hurricanes)
The wily South African actually retired somewhat bizarrely through the middle of last season’s campaign. The off-spinner, also a handy lower middle-order batsman and agile fielder was last seen coaching the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the CPL
Michael Klinger (Perth Scorchers)
The opening batsman finally decided enough was enough as one of the Big Bash players with most matches under his belt after a second somewhat barren season in a row at the Scorchers and called it a day regarding the Big Bash. Not yet known whether he’ll return to play for Gloucestershire next season.
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Shane Watson (Sydney Thunder)
Watson will probably never get the credit he deserves as one of the best white ball all-rounders of the past decade. An explosive hitter in the Top 3, mostly dealing in leg side flicks and drives, his bowling wasn’t quite as frequent as in past years but was nonetheless a big presence in any dressing room.
Brendon McCullum (Brisbane Heat)
Wonderful player, lovely man, aggressive captain. But the truth is that McCullum’s BBL career never really took off. Far too often it was a case of 20 off 10 balls, then getting out. All well and good in terms of strike rate but with a weak batting line-up at the Heat, he needed to hang around for longer. As for his time as captain, as ever he was the ultimate gambler with aggressive field settings and inventive bowling changes but results were poor under him and he’s called it quits in order to focus on a coaching career.