The sixth season of Australian most popular twenty20 domestic cricket competition - the Big Bash League - is set to run through December 20, 2016 till January 28, 2017. Know everything you need to know about it right from team analysis and betting odds to our tips and tournament prediction.
The Big Bash League - Australia's premier Twenty20 cricket tournament - is back for its sixth season and is scheduled to run between December 20, 2016 and January 28, 2017. Having a format identical to its previous editions, the BBL 16-17 will feature a total of eight participating teams, 32 group-stage matches, two semi-finals and a final.
Each team will be playing eight group games that includes four home and four away games. The teams occupying the top four positions on the points table at the end of the group stage will progress to the knockout stage - the semi-finals. The semi-finals and the final will be played at the home ground of the team that finishes at a higher rank in the group standings.
Read on for team previews, betting tips, betting odds and tournament prediction for BBL 2016/17....
Captain Shane Watson
Expected Top Batsman Usman Khawaja
Expected Top Bowler Clint McKay
Sydney Thunder are the reigning champions and will look to defend their title in this year's BBL. They had never qualified for the knockout stage in seasons prior to the last one which saw a tremendous turnaround in their fortunes as they surprised everyone by lifting the trophy.
The team looks strong enough on paper for this season with the likes of Andre Russell, Shane Watson, Clint McKay and Usman Khawaja in their ranks. Khawaja had aggregated 345 runs in just four innings in the previous edition at a striking average of 172.50. With the ball, it was McKay who finished as the tournament's highest wicket-taker with 18 wickets while Russell bagged 16.
Shane Watson, Fawad Ahmed, Aiden Blizzard, Pat Cummins, Jake Doran, Ryan Gibson, Chris Green, Usman Khawaja, Nathan McAndrew, Alister McDermott, Clint McKay, Arjun Nair, Kurtis Patterson, Ben Rohrer, Andre Russell, Gurinder Sandhu and Jason Sangha.
Sydney Thunder clinched the trophy last year under the impressive captaincy of Michael Hussey and due to the inclusion of players like Watson, Kallis and Khawaja. After a string of forgetful performances in the past, Sydney Thunder are suddenly looking good and betfair has them as favorites to win the BBL 2016/17 at 7.8. bet365 currently has them at 7.00.
Captain Adam Voges
Expected Top Batsman Michael Klinger
Expected Top Bowler Andrew Tye
The two-time BBL champions have won the tournament two seasons (2013-14 and 2014-15) in a row. They have always made it to the finals except for the last season where they lost the semi-final. They have been the most successful team so far who will be seeking their third title this year.
Batting lineup looks strong as ever with Adam Voges, Shaun Marsh and Michael Klinger and so is the bowling attack with Nathan Coulter-Nile, Andrew Tye and Mitchell Johnson. Perth Scorchers will depend on Michael Klinger with the bat as he was their leading run-scorer last year and with 1,274 runs, he is also the leading run-scorer in the BBL history. Andrew Tye took 13 wickets and was among the tournament's top 5 bowlers.
Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Ian Bell, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell Johnson, Michael Klinger, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, James Muirhead, Joel Paris, Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Adam Voges, Sam Whiteman and David Willey.
Perth Scorchers have undoubtedly been the most consistent of all the teams, making it to the finals four out of their five attempts. They are the only side to have bagged multiple titles which makes them a great value at 5.50 with bet365. They are huge favorites with betfair at 6.2..
Captain Moises Henriques
Expected Top Batsman Jason Roy
Expected Top Bowler Jackson Bird
Sydney Sixers are the winners of the inaugural 2011-12 edition and the runners-up of the 2014-15 edition. The previous season was the worst for them as they finished eighth in the standings after the league stage. But they have fared well overall, reaching the semi-finals three times in the five seasons. 2012-13 was the only other season the team had failed to reach the semis.
This year, Sydney Sixers will come as one of the strongest title contenders with plenty of heavyweights in their squad including Jason Roy, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood. Jason Roy and Nic Maddinson are in the team as specialist batsmen and the onus will be on these two to score some quick runs throughout the season. Jackson Bird could not quite impress last year but he is one of their most successful bowlers in the competition.
Moises Henriques, Sean Abbott, Sam Billings, Jackson Bird, Doug Bollinger, Johan Botha, Ryan Carters, Ben Dwarshuis, Brad Haddin, Josh Hazlewood, Daniel Hughes, Nic Maddinson, Joe Mennie, Nathan Lyon, Steve O'Keefe, Jason Roy, Jordan Silk and Mitchell Starc.
Sydney Sixers will be entering the competition as one of the strongest sides on paper. The winners of the inaugural edition fared poorly last year, finishing at the bottom of the pool. And this has taken them as high as 9 with betfair and 7.50 with bet365.
Captain David Hussey
Expected Top Batsman Kevin Pietersen
Expected Top Bowler Scott Boland
Never once have Melbourne Stars failed to reach the semi-finals of a BBL season. Last year, they even made it to the final but lost by three wickets and finished as runners-up. The only issue with them has been their inability to deliver in crunch games. If they are able to overcome this, they could very well fancy their chances of a title win.
Melbourne Stars have many quality allrounders stacked into their squad. James Faulkner, Luke Wright, Kevin Pietersen and Glenn Maxwell are all crucial to their success this season. Pietersen averages 41.06 in BBL and he was the tournament's third-highest run-getter last year. With John Hastings expected to miss the majority of the season due to injury, the Stars will look to Scott Boland, James Faulkner and Adam Zampa to deliver with the ball.
David Hussey, Michael Beer, Scott Boland, James Faulkner, Seb Gotch, Evan Gulbis, Peter Handscomb, Sam Harper, John Hastings, Ben Hilfenhaus, Glenn Maxwell, Kevin Pietersen, Rob Quiney, Marcus Stoinis, Tom Triffitt, Daniel Worrall, Luke Wright and Adam Zampa.
Captain Brendon McCullum
Expected Top Batsman Chris Lynn
Expected Top Bowler Ben Cutting
2012-13 is the most memorable season for Brisbane Heat when they beat Perth Scorchers in the final to win their first ever title. The previous two seasons are the most forgettable for them as they were eighth and sixth respectively in the standings post the league stage. Except for the second edition, the team has never been able to qualify for the knockout stage. They could only win three of their league games last year and will be hoping for a turnaround of fortunes in the upcoming season.
Brendon McCullum, Chris Lynn and Joe Burns are going to be the key batsmen for Brisbane Heat. Last year's player of the tournament, Lynn top-scored with 378 runs and has also scored the most runs for his side in the BBL history. Samuel Badree and Ben Cutting are capable of changing the course of the match with the ball, and the two will be vital cogs in their bowling lineup..
Brendon McCullum, Chris Lynn, Samuel Badree, Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, Alex Doolan, Andrew Fekete, Luke Feldman, Jason Floros, Sam Heazlett, Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Lalor, Brendon McCullum, James Peirson, Nathan Reardon, Alex Ross, Mark Steketee, Mitchell Swepson and Jack Wildermuth.
Poor outings in the previous two seasons has left Brisbane Heat at a distant 10 with betfair to win the Big Bash League 2016/17 outright. This year as well, they haven't come up with as many international names on their roster as some of the other teams have and so it isn't surprising to see them at 7.50 with bet365.
Captain Tim Paine
Expected Top Batsman Kumar Sangakkara
Expected Top Bowler Shaun Tait
After a disappointing last couple of seasons, Hobart Hurricanes will be seeking their third appearance in the BBL knockout stage. In the inaugural edition in 2011-12, they reached the semi-finals but could not advance any further. The team's best performance came in 2013-14 when they reached the finals and finished as runners-up. Last year, they finished seventh in the league stage standings.
Kumar Sangakkara, George Bailey and Tim Paine are going to be the best men with the bat for Hobart Hurricanes. Sangakkara did well in both the NatWest T20 Blast and the Royal London One Day Cup and the in-form batsman will be available for the whole tournament. Shaun Tait, Stuart Broad and Daniel Christian will be the key in their bowling lineup. Tait took 10 wickets from 8 matches last year and with 42 scalps in 31 matches, he ranks among the top five BBL bowlers.
George Bailey, Cameron Boyce, Stuart Broad, Daniel Christian, Hamish Kingston, Ben McDermott, Dom Michael, Simon Milenko, Tim Paine, Sam Rainbird, Jake Reed, Clive Rose, Kumar Sangakkara, Shaun Tait and Jonathan Wells.
The last couple of seasons were really frustrating for Hobart Hurricanes as they finished seventh and fifth at the end of the league stage. This year, they will be seeking their third semi-final appearance in the tournament and for this to happen, they will need their overseas players to perform much better than they did last year. Hobart Hurricanes are currently distant outsiders at 11 and 10.00 with betfair and bet365 respectively.
Captain Brad Hodge
Expected Top Batsman Brad Hodge
Expected Top Bowler Ben Laughlin
The first three seasons were quite frustrating for the Adelaide Strikers as they failed to make it to the top four each time. However, their performance in the previous two seasons would have brought their confidence back. They topped the league standings in both BBL 4 and BBL 5, and the team will look to further better their record this season.
Adelaide Strikers certainly have a number of big names in their side including Kieron Pollard, Adil Rashid, Chris Jordan, Travis Head and Kane Richardson. Travis Head stood out with the bat for them last year and finished among the top 5 batsmen. Brad Hodge is their leading run-scorer in the BBL with 1058 runs at an average of 44.08. Key members in the bowling lineup include Adil Rashid who was the second-highest wicket-taker last year and Ben Laughlin who has taken 60 wickets in the tournament - the most by any bowler in the BBL.
Brad Hodge, Wes Agar, Alex Carey, Jono Dean, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Chris Jordan, Ben Laughlin, Jake Lehmann, Tim Ludeman, Michael Neser, Kieron Pollard, Adil Rashid, Kane Richardson, Craig Simmons, Kelvin Smith, Billy Stanlake and Jake Weatherald.
Captain Aaron Finch
Expected Top Batsman Aaron Finch
Expected Top Bowler Dwayne Bravo
After failing to grab the semi-final spot for the third consecutive time, Melbourne Renegades will be looking to start afresh and turn things around in this sixth edition. The team gave their best performance in the second edition where they reached the semis after finishing as table toppers at the end of the league stage. Last year, they won three of their eight group games and missed the semi-final berth by just two points.
Chris Gayle had scored the most runs for Melbourne Renegades last year, but it has been confirmed that he won't be playing for the side in this year's BBL. So the team will be looking at skipper Aaron Finch to lead with the bat. Averaging 43.10, he has 1207 runs in 32 matches and is BBL's second highest run-scorer. They have a well-rounded bowling attack in James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Brad Hogg and Dwayne Bravo. Bravo has won many T20 games with the ball for the West Indies and he is more likely to take the most wickets for the Renegades this season.
Aaron Finch, Dwayne Bravo, Tom Beaton, Tom Cooper, Xavier Doherty, Callum Ferguson, Marcus Harris, Brad Hogg, Sunil Narine, Peter Nevill, James Pattinson, Nathan Rimmington, Peter Siddle, Matthew Short, Chris Tremain, Matthew Wade, Cameron White and Nick Winter.
Melbourne Renegades could not even make it to the top four in the previous three seasons. They do, however, have a strong team with the likes of Finch and Bravo on their roster. They are currently at 6.6 and 6.00 with betfair and bet365 respectively to win the tournament outright.
Sydney Thunder, after performing poorly in the first four seasons, unexpectedly claimed the title last year. But though the side looks well-balanced, there is a slight issue with them. Most of their players have either retired from international cricket or are not representing their respective national teams in T20 format at the moment. Moreover, there is a lack of young blood in their squad which could hamper their progress in the tournament. So we don't expect Sydney Thunder to break into the top four in this year's BBL and hence defend their title.
Perth Scorchers, Melbourne Stars, Sydney Sixers and Adelaide Strikers are the ones who we feel could be the top four teams in this sixth edition of the Big Bash League. The Strikers have been very impressive in the previous two seasons, each time finishing as the number 1 team at the end of the group stage. The Sixers won the inaugural edition and have reached the semi-finals thrice. They hit a rough patch last year, but we expect them to bounce back. The Stars came runners-up last year and they have been making it to the top four each time. With plenty of quality allrounders in the side, they are one of the strongest title contenders.
The Scorchers have clearly been the best of the lot so far. They have two successive titles in the bag, have gone through to the finals on four occasions and have never finished below third in the league standings. They boast an immensely talented outfit with a number of former and current Australian internationals captained by a skilled Adam Voges and coached by a proficient Justin Langer. Ian Bell, who has had a good NatWest T20 Blast and a memorable Royal London One Day Cup with Warwickshire, will be adding more strength to the side this year.
Although Melbourne Stars, Sydney Sixers and Adelaide Strikers are all very much capable of winning the Big Bash League 2016/17, we predict the more consistent Perth Scorchers to win their third title.
Final VerdictBack Perth Scorchers to win the BBL 06 at 6.2 with betfair and 5.50 with bet365.
Every year, the Big Bash League brings with it plenty of betting opportunities for sports punters across the globe and as such the most popular bookmakers like Betfair and Bet365 offer various markets to wager money on. These markets usually range from outright winner and match winner to top batsman/bowler and in-play betting odds. To find out all the available markets for the Big Bash League 2016-17, you just need to visit betfair or bet365 (whichever is your favorite bookmaker) via Cricketbetting.net. Under the 'Cricket' menu, a list of all the available markets will be shown from which you can choose the one you wish to bet on.
Below are the most popular markets you will get to find at betfair and bet365 for BBL 06:
Punters normally find this market the most appealing of all primarily due to the higher returns they are able to get from it. Here, you can place a bet on the outright title winner of the BBL's sixth season before the commencement of the season. However, outright bets will be available even throughout the entire duration of the season.
This market deals with the outcome of a particular Big Bash League match rather than the tournament as a whole. You will be offered odds on the match winners for each of the 35 matches. You can either place your bet pre-match i.e. before the start of the game or during in-play if you wish to wait for a bigger price on your chosen bet. While going for the latter option, remember that the odds for both the outcomes - win and loss - will fluctuate up and down.
The batsman to score the most number of runs for his team at the end of a match or at the end of the series will be the top batsman for the match or the series. Similarly, the bowler who ends up taking the most wickets for the team will be the top bowler for his team. You can place a bet on the top batsman/bowler for both the teams for the entire tournament as well as for a particular BBL match.