This Sunday saw the inaugural Big Bash League draft take place, as the Australian T20 tournament moves closer to emulating its bigger Indian cousin, the IPL.
With the tournament taking place soon after the T20 World Cup 2022 wraps up, from 13 December 2022 to 4 February 2023, teams were eager to lock in their overseas players for the contest.
Here’s a breakdown of how the drafting process unfolded.
Happening for the first time ever, the BBL 2022-2023 draft followed a simple structure:
Twelve platinum-level overseas players were up for grabs, in the BBL 2022-2023 draft, with clubs only able to select from this category in the first round of picks.
Of the twelve, five went unpicked—Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Jason Roy, Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell. For the majority of these unpicked players, the reason was an inability to commit to the full duration of the league, having prior commitments in other T20 tournaments.
After four rounds of picking from the pool of available overseas talent, the BBL 2022-2023 draft results looked like this:
|Team||Platinum Pick||Gold Pick||Silver Pick||Bronze Pick||Total Spend|
|Sydney Thunder||David Willey (England)||Alex Hales (England)||Rilee Rossouw (South Africa)||N/A||$775,000|
|Sydney Sixers||Chris Jordan (England)||James Vince (England)||N/A||Izharulhaq Naveed (Afghanistan)||$700,000|
|Perth Scorchers||N/A||Laurie Evans – Retained (England)||Phil Salt (England)||Tymal Mills (England)||$535,000|
|Melbourne Stars||Trent Boult (New Zealand)||Joe Clarke (England)||Luke Wood (England)||N/A||$775,000|
|Melbourne Renegades||Liam Livingstone (England)||Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Afghanistan)||N/A||Akeal Hossein (West Indies)||$700,000|
|Hobert Hurricanes||Shadab Khan (Pakistan)||Asif Ali (Pakistan)||Faheem Ashraf (Pakistan)||N/A||$775,000|
|Brisbane Heat||Sam Billings (England)||Colin Munro (New Zealand)||N/A||Ross Whiteley (England)||$700,000|
|Adelaide Strikers||Rashid Khan - Retained (Afghanistan)||Colin de Grandhomme (New Zealand)||Adam Hose (England)||N/A||$775,000|
Interestingly, the BBL 2022-2023 draft started off with a bang, when the second pick of the night was denied. With the Melbourne Stars selecting Afghan spinner Rashid Khan, the Adelaide Strikers opted to block the pick, and retain the T20 maestro for themselves instead.
Another head turning pick was Colin de Grandhomme, the second selection for the Adelaide Strikers. De Grandhomme had not made himself available, yet was still selected by the Strikers—a move that prompted de Grandhomme to make some drastic adjustments in his cricketing career, retiring from all international cricket with an immediate severance of his Black Caps contract enabling him to play in the 2022-2023 BBL.
De Grandhomme’s big decision comes just weeks after New Zealand’s Trent Boult also made a similar move, breaking his Black Caps contract in order to chase money in overseas T20 Leagues. The move appears to have paid off for Boult as well, with the Kiwi being picked first by the Melbourne Stars.
Here’s a look at how the BBL 2022-2023 draft has impacted each team’s squad for the upcoming season.
Drafting in three fiery overseas batters, the Sydney Thunder have a power packed batting line up heading into the 2022-2023 season. They will hope for Englishmen David Willey and Alex Hales to bring a bit of the Bazball magic down under as the two combine with Australian star David Warner.
Full squad: Brendan Doggett, Chris Green, Alex Hales, Tanveer Sangha, Baxter Holt, Nathan McAndrew, Alex Ross, Rilee Rossouw, Oliver Davies, Daniel Sams, Jason Sangha, David Warner, David Willey, Matthew Gilkes.
Sydney’s other BBL team, the Sixers, have also elected to spent their draft picks on Englishmen, with fast bowler Chris Jordan and batter James Vince brought into the side. One of three Afghani players to feature in the BBL has also been picked, Izharulhaq Naveed.
Full squad: Jackson Bird, Dan Christian, Moises Henriques, Sean Abbott, Daniel Hughes, Hayden Kerr, Nathan Lyon, Chris Jordan, Steve O'Keefe, Ben Dwarshuis, Kurtis Patterson, Josh Philippe, Jordan Silk, James Vince, Izharulhaq Naveed.
Picking up all Englishmen, Perth have acquired two strong batters in Laurie Evans and Phil Salt, as well as a left-handed fast bowler to bolster their bowling attack, in Tymal Mills.
With Australian internationals Ashton Agar, Andrew Tye, Jhye Richardson and Mitch Marsh, the Scorchers look to have a strong squad with an excellent bowling attack.
Full squad: Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Cooper Connolly, Aaron Hardie, Nick Hobson, Josh Inglis, Matthew Kelly, Mitch Marsh, Lance Morris, Jhye Richardson, Phil Salt, Andrew Tye, Cameron Bancroft, Laurie Evans, Peter Hatzoglou, Tymal Mills, Ashton Turner.
Having claimed Kiwi fast bowling sensation Trent Boult now that he is freely available as a mercenary, Melbourne will be looking to have a strong BBL 2022-2023.
Boult is joined by Joe Clarke and Luke Wood as the three overseas players, and will combine with the likes of Nathan Coulter-Nile, Adam Zampa and Marcus Stoinis in the bowling attack.
Full squad: Joe Burns, Hilton Cartwright, Brody Couch, Nathan Coulter-NileClint Hinchliffe, Nick Larkin, Glenn Maxwell (c), Billy Stanlake, Beau Webster, Luke Wood, Adam Zampa, Trent Boult, Joe Clarke, Liam Hatcher, Marcus Stoinis.
English finisher Liam Livingstone combines with international spinners Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Akeal Hossein as the Melbourne Renegade’s overseas additions to their side.
With the firepower of Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh, expect the Renegades to frustrate with ball and punish with bat.
Full squad: Aaron Finch, Akeal Hosein, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Mackenzie Harvey, Shaun Marsh, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Tom Rogers, Jon Wells, Zak Evans, Liam Livingstone, Sam Harper, Nic Maddinson, Kane Richardson.
Boasting a trifecta of Pakistani talent, the Hobart Hurricanes have brought in all-rounder Shadab Khan, fiery batter Asif Ali, and wily spinner Faheem Ashraf.
Combining with Billy Stanlake and D’Arcy Short, the Hurricanes are well positioned to make a deep run in this season’s BBL.
Full squad: Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Asif Ali, Caleb Jewell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Shadab Khan, Mitch Owen, Wil Parker, D'Arcy Short, Joel Paris, Matthew Wade, Billy Stanlake.
Two of the sport’s cleanest hitters, Sam Billings and Colin Munro, will be on display for the Brisbane Heat this season. Ross Whiteley also joins them from England, to round out the side’s international quota.
Local favourites Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne also feature in the Heat, as they look to mount a title campaign in 2022-2023.
Full squad: James Bazley, Sam Billings, Xavier Bartlett, Max Bryant, Usman Khawaja, Sam Heazlett, Matthew Kuhnemann, Colin Munro, Michael Neser, Marnus Labuschagne, Jimmy Peirson, Mark Steketee, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Renshaw, Ross Whiteley, Jack Wildermuth.
Finally, the Adelaide Strikers added some spice to the BBL draft by their defence of star player Rashid Khan.
Retaining the Afghani with one of their picks, Adelaide also added Colin de Grandhomme and Adam Hose, to boast a well-rounded team ahead of the season’s start.
Full squad: Wes Agar, Alex Carey, Harry Conway, Cameron Boyce, Colin de Grandhomme, Travis Head, Adam Hose, Henry Hunt, Ryan Gibson, Thomas Kelly, Rashid Khan, Harry Nielsen, Matt Short, Jake Weatherald, Chris Lynn, Henry Thorton.
Tune into the BBL 2022-2023 on 13 December to see these players go head to head to take down one of the games most prestigious T20 leagues.