Adelaide Strikers preview

IN

Johan Botha (South Africa)

Phil Hughes (Sydney Thunder)

Tim Ludeman (South Australia)

Shaun Tait (Renegades)

Andrew McDonald (Renegades)

Nathan Reardon (Renegades)

 

 

OUT

James Muirhead (Melbourne Renegades)

Daniel Harris (Melbourne Renegades)

Aiden Blizzard (Hobart Hurricanes)

Cameron Borgas (Sydney Thunder)

Aaron O’Brien (Melbourne Renegades)

Brendan Drew (Melbourne Renegades)

 

Delisted

Alfonso Thomas (South Africa/Perth Scorchers)

James Franklin (New Zealand)

Adam Crossthwiate

Lee Carseldine

Bryce McGain

 

 

THE PLAYERS

 

Johan Botha – Where to start? Why Botha? Why? WHY?? WHYYYY?????  And why the fu&k is he captain?? Convicted chucka, South African and a prick to boot. What‘s he going to teach them – how to choke in a tournament? F&CK OFF!

 

Michael Klinger –  Should be skipper. Batsmen who is a quality first class player and has been right up with the likes of Bob Quiney as lower profile players pushing for higher honours through sheer volume of domestic runs. Look for him to bat top3. Loves a good crossword whilst on the team bus.

 

Callum Ferguson –  batsmen who had a good run n the national ODI team in 2009 until he injured his knee. Looks all class but never really seems to have pled up big numbers season after season and surprisingly only has 8 first class tons. Look for him to miss a game with a freak injury after he had to have surgery on his testicles after a backyard cricket match and missed games on BBL|01. Bizzare!

 

Tim Ludeman – gloveman having his first crack at the Bash after Xthwaite was preferred keeper in season 1. Batting has been greatly improved this season with a couple of half centuries and his keeping, as always, has been of the highest standard.  A recent leg side stumping  standing up to Dan Christian was simply outstanding.

 

Keiron Pollard – turned up a couple of days before Bash 1 and at his first training session allegedly hurt his hammy so bad he was immediately ruled out for the whole tournament – 6 weeks! Who was running that training session, The Weapon?? Suspicious as that seems it appears there have been no long lasting issues between franchise and franchise player as K-Pol has returned. The only tricky issue Pollard will have to negotiate this year will be how he makes up for a season of disappointment for the Fox Sports boundary riders.

 

Theo Doropolous – profilic tweeter. Can also play cricket a bit but may actually be better at tweeting. Has been on the fringe of a number of state teams over the journey: WA, Victoria and now SA. Not likely to be a first choice player other he does offer abilities in all 3 facets of the game: batting bowling and fielding. Fun Fact: first Greek player to play first class cricket.

 

Phil Hughes – looks to have refound his run scoring mojo with a remodelled technique. Scored a mountain of runs in county cricket for Worcester in the northern summer, particularly in 40 over and 20 over cricket. His shift to South Australia has produced some good shield knocks including 150 in his last knock and his maiden Australian domestic one day hundred. Look out for him to make a Big impression in this Bash opening for the Strikers.

 

Gary Putland – this man has ice in his veins!! Can bowl a mean final over – witness the final over of last years Ryobi Cup final where he restricted Tasmania to 4 runs when they needed 5 to win.

Left arm seamer who has certainly had some injuries over the journey but is in fine fettle at the moment having just destroyed the Vics at the G in the recent shield match. Look for him to close out Strikers games and get on Twitter and check out #garyputlandfacts  – he makes Chuck Norris & Mike Hussey look like big girl’s blouses’. Expect a few more #garyputlandfacts during BBL|02 – mainly from @theodrop13

 

Shaun Tait – right arm erratic. If there was an award for making Mitchell Johnson looking like a line and length bowler then ‘Wild Thing’ would have won it several times over. Oscillated between ordinary to down right sh1t for the Renegades last year. Maybe he will find the home comforts of returning to Adelaide more to his liking – for the Strikers sake I hope so but I fear Tait’s best is behind him.

 

Andrew McDonald – All rounder of highest quality and captained the Renegades n BBL|01. Out for the season after surgery to reattach a hammy. Big loss and won’t play at all but still listed on the Strikers website.

 

James Smith –  batsmen. Fun Fact: once ran a marathon in 3hours in full cricket gear – pads, helmet, etc. Also brings a lot of business acumen to the change rooms as he s completing an MBA at Harvard during the Australian winter. Loves West End draught imperial pints and getting his milk and paper from  the deli. Enjoys playing on Adelaide Oval No2.

 

Saeed Ajmal –  world’s best spinner but the PCB rescinded his NOC  two weeks ago yet he’s still listed? Won’t play. Update ya freaken website Strikers this is making my job a nightmare!

 

Kane Richardson – Pace bowling all rounder, known for bowling a heavy ball that hits the bat incredibly hard. He has batted as high as number 3 in Shield cricket (not as a night watchmen), can hit an incredibly long ball.  Fun Fact: tennis fanatic and best buddies with Lleyton Hewitt. Central Dstricts supporter.

 

Cameron Boyce – legspinner from Queensland. Perhaps signed to replace Saaed Ajmal, perhaps one day will be of the standard of Ajmal but he’s not right. Might get a run pre Christmas in Lyon’s absence. Fun Fact: Claims to have invented and patented the watermelon helmet.

 

Mick Nesser – Saffer born Aussie allrounder who is really a like for like swap for Dan Christian though I’m not sure if Nesser goes nuts smashing up change rooms as much as Dan Christian. Maybe if he did Nesser would have a higher profile. Expected to be first choice all rounder ahead of Theo Doropolous, not expected to dominate.

 

Nathan Lyon – Test off spinner who should spin twin with the chucka when the Test summer is over. I believe Xav Doc will be the preferred Aussie ODI spinner so ‘Gaz’ should be right to Bash for the business end of BBL|02. A little known fun fact: he use to be the grounds man at Adelaide Oval.

 

Nathan Reardon – ex Queensland batsmen who doesn’t have a state contract and Bashed for the Renegades last year without doing much of note except come in before Afridi. ‘Reardo’ was dumped by the Renegades after they secured the services of Nathan Rimmington to fill their quota of Nathans. Obviously will only be able to play when Nathan Lyon isn’t so as not to upset the balance of Nathans in the Strikers line up.

 

 

 

THE SUMMARY

 

The Strikers are incredibly light on for batsmen – they don’t seemed to have bothered recruiting players to bat 4 and 5. Nathan Reardon will get altitude sickness batting as high as 4.

The squad has a  plethora of different types and varying quality of allrounders from which to choose from and a nice mix of pace bowlers and spinners but the changerooms will be bereft of batsmen.

Losing players of the quality of McDonald and Ajmal is a massive blow to the Strikers ambitions in BBL|02 so sign some players to replace them, Darren “Chuck” Berry – the deadline is 3 days away!!

 

The Strikers have 17 players listed but 2 are non starters so maybe the Strikers should recruit someone who is good with IT so they can keep the Strikers website up-to-date with latest signings. Someone like….. Bryce McGain who is happy earning sh1tloads dong computers and doesn’t want to play for Australia let alone first class cricket again.

 

Also I would stop right now this back and forth of trading of mediocre players with the Renegades. (Save for snaffling their skipper McDonald – smart move)

 

 

 

THE XI

 

Well this is easy given the Strikers books have 2 players who won’t play.

 

  1. Michael Klinger
  2. Phil Hughes
  3. Callum Ferguson
  4. Nathan Reardon
  5. Kerion Pollard
  6. Johan Botha
  7. Tim Ludeman
  8. Mick Nesser
  9. Kane Richardson
  10. Gary Putland
  11. Shaun Tait

 

 

Prediction: 6th

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Sydney Thunder Preview

IN

Chris Rogers (Victoria)

Dirk Nannes (MelbourneRenegades)

Shahid Afridi (Pakistan/Melbourne Renegades)

Ryan Carters (Melbourne Renegades)

Cameron Borgas (Adelaide Strikers)

Michael Clarke (NSW)

Rhett Lockyer (Hobart Hurricanes)

Matt Prior (England)

Martin Guptil (New Zealand)

Adam Coyte

Chris Tremain (NSW)

 

OUT

Dave Warner (Sydney Sixers)

Dan Smith (Sydney Sixers)

Ben Dunk (Hobart Hurricanes)

Philip Hughes (Adelaide Strikers)

Doug Bollinger (Hobart Hurricanes)

 

Delisted

Fidel Edwards

Nic Bills

Tim Armstrong

Tim Cruickshank

Matthew Day – still getting acting gigs. Was great in the most recent season of ‘Rake’

Craig Phillipson

 

 

THE PLAYERS

 

Cameron Borgas – brother of the much more polite and better known cricketer, Jason, with whom he shares a surname. A batsmen who lost his SA contract this year and has had a contiki tour of cricket destinations this year that typifies the have-bat–will-travel generation. In the past 12 months he has represented the Adelaide Strikers in BBL|01, The Netherlands in the English County 40 over competition, Australia in the Hong Kong 6s, some mob in the Sri Lankan Premier League and another mob in New Zealand’s HRV Cup. Will be Guptill’s doormat – ie Guptill will walk over him into the starting XI.

 

Chris Gayle – needs no introduction, the greatest T20 batsmen in the world and not a bad Gangnam style dancer either. Showed brilliant form at the World T20 and can hit an incredibly long ball, doesn’t do running between the wickets preferring to jog and happiest when he can keep his movements in the field to a minimum – will park himself at slip at every opportunity

 

Chris Rogers – was not signed in BBL|01 but consistently good batting form, razor sharp reflex catching in the cordon, panther like, Johnty Rhodes-esque movements in the infield and amazing runouts have forced team bosses to stand up and take notice. Ok so he is an excellent batsmen who consistently piles up runs on the domestic circuit in Australia and England and has shown he can adapt his style to suit the pace of T20. Deserves a contract and hopefully will make some telling contributions with the bat but will have to be hidden in the field.

 

Chris Tremain – bowler – never heard of him, from his profile picture he may well bowl right arm and a heavy ball. Allegedly came to be a Thunder player due to an incident in the SCG nets at NSW training. Brad Haddin entered the nets for a bat and Tremain greeted him with a barrage of short pitched bowling aimed at knocking the helmet of his head – his standard greeting to any batsmen. For some reason Haddin didn’t particularly like this and angrily called out “How ‘bout one in the batsmen’s half!”  Tremain responded by coming around the wicket and giving him a bit of the old pepper – a few tuneful bars of chin music. As the 27th consecutive delivery whistled past Haddin’s grill he was heard to loudly proclaim so all could hear, “FU&K OFF and go play for the Thunder!”

 

Dirk Nannes – left arm smoke, still kicking on the T20 mercenary/freelance circuit. Would have to go close to having played in the most different T20 competitions: The Netherlands in one World T20 then Australia in the next, Big Bash, IPL, Champions League, Zimbabwe, England , I think New Zealand, probably Sri Lanka, possibly Bangladesh and will be a short priced favourite in my book to join the US T20 league if it ever happens.

 

Gurinder Sandhu – once dropped 11 catches in a row at training. It so infuriated his teammates and coaches alike that a bizarre Thunder initiation ritual was introduced. Sandhu had to dress in the team mascot uniform, (“Captain Thunder” in case you didn’t know) , and run 11 laps of the Blacktown Oval carrying the equivalent contents of Ian ‘The Freak’ Harveys cricket bag  [11 cricket bats is just the start in case you are wondering, 3 packs of Winnie Blues, his drink driving conviction, UK Passport – whoops doesn’t have one of those, Australian ODI kit, 7 different county cricket one day uniforms,  etc etc]. Next he was tied to the sightscreen and had 11 cricket balls fired at him from a bowling machine at a distance of 25 metres. As the final insult Sandhu was handcuffed to a chair in the Rooty Hill RSL gaming room overnight and forced to play the pokies continuously for 14 hours.  Like all initiation rituals he’s a much better cricketer and person for having done it.

 

Jason Floros – studying dentistry at the Bond University. Known to hold court in the dressingroom after games regaling the squad with riveting tales of bad dental hygiene, carries, fillings and the dangers of not flossing regularly. Well respected for his strong pro-fluoride stance on water treatment and spreading the good word on harm minimisation techniques when imbibing of refreshing multinational beverages (read Powerade/Gatorade)  –  use a straw to protect the teeth. Look for all Thunder drink bottles to be fitted wth a straw n BBL|02. J-Flo had a Katich v Clarke style dressingroom dust up with Fidel Edwards last year after Fidel started drinking his powerade without a straw! Tales still circulate (and get taller all the time) of the magical, nay mythical, day when J-Flo ALMOST spun a ball!

 

 

Luke Doran – NSW state contracted spinner, a rarity in the Thunder squad (having a state contract that is.)  I thought this was the leg spinner Doran from Queensland who lost his state contract this year and is plying his trade in Melbourne’s premier cricket (it seemed more likely given sans state contract seems to be status quo at Thunder-town) but that’s David – a cousin perhaps?

LD brings a lot of Australian Hip Hop and Kreftweurk to the dressingroom but isn’t allowed to play it due to it contravening the First Rule of Thunder: No music shall be played pre, post or during games unless it is AC/DC’s Thunderstruck. He then brought an iPad to the dressingroom to watch Sylvester Stallone in ‘Victory’ as a motivational video. This was confiscated as it contravened the Second Rule of Thunder: No motivational movies are allowed unless they are “Days of Thunder”  [Victory also contravenes all rules of good taste as the poor plot, ludicrous number of celebrity cameos and walk ons (Pele makes an appearance), ham fisted butchering  by Stallone and some laughably bad ‘action’ scenes of a soccer match add up to a brown Logie winning effort – but I digress]

 

 

Mark Cosgrove – MC, Millennium Chicken, The Big Man, call him what you will but there is no doubt he’s fat and he can bat. Couldn’t break into a strong Hurricanes batting line up last Big Bash so took a leaf out of the Tex Walker tome titled “How to handle team selection  –  dealing with getting dropped” by sitting in the stands at home games sinking mid-strength schooners. Has been in good nick opening for Tassie this season and will be able to tell approximately half the squad what it’s like to currently have a state contract. Offers some military mediums and safe hands at first slip (if he can budge Gayle).

 

Martin Guptill –  Marty Two Toes will probably be on a time sharing arrangement with his NZ side, can hit a long ball, one of the leading T20 international batsmen – a savvy pick up.

 

Matt Prior – England Test keeper not in their limited overs set up at present, can hit a long ball and score quickly, tidy behind the pegs, slightly better liked than Paul Nixon on these shores

 

Michael Clarke – Test captain not best suited to this format and who was recently cut by his IPL team Pune. Will only play the ceremonial opening weekend Sydney derby wedged between the 3rd South Africa test and the 1st Sri Lanka test.

 

Ryan Carters – wicket keeper – settle in this is going to be long. Couldn’t get a game at the Renegades last year even in dead rubbers – he was kept out of the team by a bloke who had retired from first class cricket and was too busy filming TV shows to even play grade cricket for most of the summer. Who? Graeme Manou of course. Stories still circulate that Carters got the catching yips in December last year and instead of gloving balls in his hands was missing them and knocking them down with his chest. There was bruising to prove this. Carters has lost his spot n the Vics keeping pecking order with Pete Handscombe now deputising for Wade.

 

This line in his official player bio could not be ignored.

“’Carts’ plays the drums and Thuderstruck has long been a favourite song – the first time he played it was with his band, in Year8 for a school assembly – he was obviously destined to play for Sydney Thunder.” Put to one side that this is vomit inducing utter marketing drivel and focus on the idea that a 13 year old is on an electric guitar belting out the riffs in Thuderstruck…. hmmm

 

Also sack all sports psychologists, nutritionists, strength & conditioning coaches and The Weapon Carts has the answers: ”A good night’s sleep and a big breakfast are key to Ryan’s game preparation”

 

 

Rhett Lockyer – forgotten Tassie batsmen who can’t get a look in any format on the Apple Isle these days as he lost his state contract. Bodes well for a bumper Big Bash! Could well be playing Sydney grade cricket

 

Scott Coyte – another year, another opportunity to see Scott ‘Russell’ Coyte deciding to use his  indoor cricket run up when bowling to Chris Gayle here: Spent the lion’s share of his BBL contract by throwing a lavish 24- hour party at Rooty Hill RSL when it was announced Gayle had signed for the Thunder. Unsurprisingly doesn’t have a state contract but does get my vote for ugliest man ever to take a first class hatrick.

 

Adam Coyte – Sydney grade batsmen without a state contract, brother of Scott, not expected to play at all. The Coyte family is a lot like the Waugh family, both from Western Sydney, both boys play cricket but imagine Mark and Steve hadn’t played 100+ Test matches each and had a much more talented sister and you have  the Coyte family where sister Sarah plays for the Southern Stars.

 

Sean Abbott – allrounder. In a rarity for the Thunder ‘Costello’ blitzed the competition last year with his fielding finishing second in the highly sought after brown glove award for most catches for a non-wicket keeper with 6. Will be aiming for more of the same this year and maybe even look to make some contributions with the bat and the ball. Known for his strong sense of social justice.

 

Shahid Afridi – Boom Boom has been more Fizzle Fizzle over the last 2 years. Not surprising really given his real age is probably 40. Was serviceable with the ball last year for the Renegades but showed nothing with the willow in hand. This will matter not one iota now as the PCB have revoked his NOC (No Objection Certificate) which is basically his permission to play in the tournament. Apparently they didn’t realise they had a series against India on at the same time. Understandable really it’s only India…

 

 

THE SUMMARY

 

Where to start…

 

If great teams are built around continuity then Sydney Thunder are stuffed! No less than 11 players were shipped out and 11 more shipped in during the off season. Literally a whole new cricket team!

 

If great limited overs players are strong in all three facets of the game (batting, bowling, fielding) then Thunder are also stuffed. Thunder seem to have stacked the team full of players who are good only at their primary skill and offer SFA in the other aspects:  Rogers and Khawaja (batting only), Nannes (bowling only), Abbot (fielding only) and then there’s the Coyte brothers who would be lucky to form 1 decent cricketer between them – need I say more – add in a cohort of slips specialists (Gayle, Cosgrove, Guptill) and the fielding unit looks positively geriatric save for Sean Abbott of course.  Also they have no obvious candidate for captain when Clarke isn’t playing which will be 87.5% of the time. Rogers perhaps – he has done t at county level? The most glaring omission is an experienced and proven first class all rounder. Luke Butterworth, who played at Thunder in BBL|01, says “Hi”

 

Although there are Two Rules of Thunder there should be a Fight Club style Third Rule of Thunder: There is no Thunder. With a sh1t nickname, crappy stadium and a piss weak playing list one wonders why Thunder exists as a franchise. The bulk of the talent laden NSW squad clearly aren’t interested preferring to play at the Sydney Sixers.  Even a cabbage like Mud Guts Smith didn’t hang around and he was getting extra coin through some playing/quasi- assistant coach bullshit gig. Thunder have only had five Australian representatives on their books across the first two seasons and two have left (Hughes & Bollinger) and the other three are either unsuited to the format (Khawaja), have been told to played there by Cricket Australia (Clarke) or are superannuated  globe trotters (Nannes)

 

And back to the nickname what dolt thought naming a cricket team after the portent to prevailing weather conditions that would bring said event to a premature end was a good idea? That is Thunder proceeds ran which halts a cricket match. The only more inappropriate names for a cricket team would be Rain, Wash Outs or maybe Standing Water – the silent killer of a cricket match. Think marketing gurus, THINK!  Expect this team to be more Wash Outs than Thunder.

 

 

 

 

 

THE XI

 

  1. Chris Gayle
  2. Mark Cosgrove
  3. Usman Khawaja
  4. Martin Guptill
  5. Chris Rogers
  6. Ryan Carters
  7.  Jason Floros
  8. Sean Abbott
  9. Luke Doran
  10. Scott Coyte
  11. Dirk Nannes

 

 

 

THE PREDICTION: 7th

 

 

 

 

Melbourne Renegades preview

IN

James Muirhead (Adelaide Strikers)

Aaron O’Brien (Adelaide Strikers)

Brendan Drew (Adelaide Strikers)

Tom Cooper (Adelaide Strikers)

Daniel Harris (Adelaide Strikers)

Marlon Samuels (West Indies)

Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka)

Darren Pattinson (Victoria)

Phil Neville (Sydney Sixers)

Ben Rhorer (Sydney Sixers)

Nathan Rimmington (Perth Scorchers)

 

 

OUT

Brad Hodge (Melbourne Stars)

Glenn Maxwell (Melbourne Stars)

Andrew McDonald (Adelaide Strikers)

Shaun Tait (Adelaide Strikers)

Nathan Reardon (Adelaide Strikers)

Shahid Afridi (Sydney Thunder)

Dirk Nannes (Sydney Thunder)

 

 

Delisted

Abdul Razzaq (Pakistan) – I offered my services to personally drive him to Tullamarine after his 4th game on the proviso that he never came back.

Shane Harwood

Graeme Manou

Aaron Heal

Brenton McDonald

 

 

 

Rather than doing IN & OUT it probably would have been easier to say who stayed: Aaron Finch, Jayde Herrick, Will Sheridan, Michael Hill, Merryck Buchanan. Or even easier the list of good players who stayed: Finch.

 

 

THE PLAYERS

 

Aaron Finch – Captain of the Titanic, everyone is jumping ship. Finch has returned to form for the Vics in the Ryobi Cup smashing a record One Day Domestic score in October. Will need to score a lot of runs for the Renegades to have success. Known as Finchy because of his uncanny resemblance to Chris Finch from The Office.

 

Merryck Buchanan – brother of Sydney Swans AFL premiership player and recently delisted Brisbane Lions player Amon, brother of Liam a limited overs batsmen for Victoria, one of 7 brothers from Colac. Not sure what he brings to the Renegades – a lot of ticket requests from his extended family?

 

Jayde Herrick –  if a shaved bongo, a headband,  a socks worth of tattoos growing up both your legs and stars tattooed on your elbows made you a good cricketer then Herrick would be a f*cking superstar. Unfortunately they don’t and he’s not. I have heard that his tattoos are based on a Peter Pan theme. Wow, just wow.

Being a loyal Renegade I have noticed the Renegades are pedalling “Jayde’s Junior membersips” this season which includes a Jayde’s Juniors wristband, Renegades tattoo, and an invite to Jayde’s Juniors coaching clinic run by Jayde and the team. In the words of a wise friend, “What a terrible concept for an average cricketer”

 

 

 

Michael Hill – inured all last season so was restricted to hitting crowd catches for the innings break competition – was pretty good at it too! A slow batsmen who hasn’t played a game for the Vics this season so the last time more than 2 men and a dog saw him bat was at the innings break of the Reneagades home game and he looked good!  Runs a chain of jewellery stores in his time away from cricket.

 

Tom Cooper – Dutch batsmen who has been playing for SA since he was born n Adelaide. Made a first class double ton for SA about 12 months ago and some cricket commentators preceded to jizz in their pants – hasn’t done a lot since. Played for Netherlands in the northern summer and sucked as much as Cameron Borgas. Both were outshone by former WA player Mitch Swart. Expected to get a sore neck from looking up at all the tall buildings in Melbourne – not too many of them in Adelaide.

 

Murali – greatest spinner/chucker of all time. Delete as you feel appropriate. Guaranteed to flash his award winning smile and swing himself off his legs if he gets a bat . Will need to be hidden in the field but a great pick up for the Renegades on bowling alone. Will bring in the crowds of the large Sri Lankan community in Melbourne.

 

Marlon Samuels – belligerent West Indies batsmen who was in blistering form at the World T20. Sharp n the field and offering some handy off spin, this is definitely one of the good pickups by the Renegades. Served a two year ban for taking drugs, cocaine I think. Will bring a lot to the dressingroom, hopefully it’s all legal.

 

Ben Rohrer – NSW Future League batsmen. Public transport enthusiast and train spotting nut who is hoping to ride the entire Metro network in 24 hours whilst in Melbourne. He’s concerned that the recent South Morang extension might make this difficult and that there will be too many Saturday and Sunday timetables over the festive period to achieve his goal. Less concerned about cricket goals.

 

Phil Neville – ex Victorian, current NSW keeper who could be said to be next in line after Wade in  the keeper pecking order after he was flown over to the West Indies as cover for Haddin. Hads and ‘Severe and Ongoing Paine in My Right Ring Finger’ might have something to say about that.

 

Will Sheridan – allrounder and a fitness fanatic. Had a knee scrape a few weeks back so whether he suits up for the Renegades will depend on his recovery from that injury.

 

Darren Pattinson – Victorian fast bowler known for a) bowling a heavy ball b) being a one test wonder for England and c) being 10 years older than his brother, James Pattinson . Even with siblings the Renegades get the rough end of the pineapple. If the Big Bash had been around during the Waugh era you feel the Renegades would have ended up with Dean Waugh.

 

Nathan Rimmington – WA fast bowler who bowls a heavy ball and can hit a long ball. Has a nice beard. Loves gardening, windy walks on the beach and can and does throw a mean wine and cheese evening. Squeezed out of the Perth Scorchers line up because they already had their quota of Nathans in the team (Nathan Coulter-Nile)

 

 

The remainder of these profiles will be in a state contract free zone.

 

Daniel Harris – cut form SA contract list and Adelaide Strikers and replaced by Phil Hughes. One thing that is always mentioned when talking about Daniel Harris is that he is a qualified doctor so here goes. Harris is a qualified doctor.  So, as recently suggested by Aaron Finch,  the Renegades can save costs and not have a team doctor as Doc Harris can fill the breach. OH DEAR! Surprisingly brings a lot of medical knowledge to the dressingroom

 

Brendan Drew – former Tassie & Adelaide Striker now plying his trade at Camberwell Magpies in Melbourne Premier cricket. Am waiting on the good word from my man on the ground at Camberwell Sports Ground as to how he has been performing. He has promised to ring me every time Drew does something of note. Still waiting for him to call….

 

Aaron O’Brien – NOOOOOO. If they were handing out awards for bowling flat dart off spin Windscreens would win GOLD in a very competitive field in Australian domestic cricket. Has been designated the responsibility of sourcing pie floaters and West End cans for the SA crew. Ironically he is from NSW originally so is more likely to come back with Tooheys New stubbies and potato scallops.

 

James Muirhead – A spinner apparently, given his performance n BBL|01 I‘d say full toss-er would be more accurate. Appeared unwilling to attempt to make the ball bounce on the pitch thus negating any ability he might have to spin the ball off the pitch. Returns to his home state after being in Adelaide for the last Bash.

 

Dean Jones – why the hell not! Get the pads on ProfDeano and bring one of those new bats!

 

 

 

THE SUMMARY

 

It hurts when you lose 3 of your top 4 batsmen (Hodge, Maxwell, McDonald) & 3 of your best bowlers (McDonald again, Nannes and Afridi).  Then you ship in 11 players, half of them from Adelaide (what is this – a home away from home for South Australians?) and half of whom don’t have state contracts and the result is your team looks like the Leftovers XI. The only bright spots are the skipper, Finch, and the two international recruits Marlon Samuels and Murali. This team will struggle not to finish stone motherless last in BBL|02.

 

It really is chalk and cheese comparing the Renegades to their cross town rivals, the Melbourne Stars. On the day the Stars announced Sir Viv Richards as team mentor the Renegades announced “Strauchanie” had taken over as club president. And I chose to support e Renegades –  sigh.

 

 

 

THE XI

 

  1. Aaron Finch
  2. Daniel Harris
  3. Tom Cooper
  4. Marlon Samuels
  5. Ben Rohrer
  6. Peter Neville
  7. Will Sheridan
  8. Nathan Rimmington
  9. Brendan Drew
  10. Jayde Herrick
  11. Muttaih Muralitharan

 

 

THE PREDICTION: 8th

Luke Butterworth Diary 10/11

Dear Diary,

Still haven’t got a Big Bash contract.

Still haven’t heard from Pickers.

He said he’d get me a Big Bash contract for BBL|02 when I signed with his management group last week. ” No sweat champ, leave it to me – I’m not a former carpet salesman for nothing” were his exact words which didn’t instill great confidence in me. The rest of the converstation went something like this.

Liam Pickering: “I’ve had my mate Terry Wallace run his trained eye over the BBL lists, he says there’s lots of spots up for  grabs if your close to or the wrong side of 40 and have played for Australia – how old are you?”

Me: “27”

LP: “Hmmm, yeah, right.  Terry is fucking useless. I had a look over the lists as well and Jesus Christ the Thunder and Renegades look shit!! I could have got a game for them and I only played at North Melbourne and averaged 27 in 10 years.”

“Oh shit Renegades, probably shouldn’t have pissed on them seeing as I’m on the board. Fuck it. Yeah well maybe I should excuse myself from managing cricketers If I’m on the board of one of the Big Bash clubs. Fuck it. Haha Tread carefully Liam Pickering tread very carefully – conflict of interest. Haha, fuck off Caro I’ll manage players and do media if I want! And now I’m on a club board! Haha, Caro ‘s head would be spinning if she knew anything about cricket.”

Me: “So have you got me a contract?”

“Haha look at that bowling attack. I’d face Herrick, Drew and Sheridan without a thigh guard. Haha pop guns! Haha terrible! Id face ’em without a helmet, I’d face em without pads even. Fuck I’d face the lot of em in just a jockstrap and a box. What was that?”

Me: “Have you got me a Big Bash contract?”

“Ahhh leave it with me champ. It’ll be easy pal, don’t worry about it, old mate Picks is on the case. Did I ever tell you about how I use to sell carpets? What sort of underlay do you have at your place?”

Me: “Umm, I  don’t know”

“Never mind, did I tell you about how I played cricket at North Meloburne for 10 years. Gee they were great times, we didn’t win many flags, well we didn’t win any and we didn’t win many games either but gee we had a great bunch of fellas and we had some great times ‘ll never forget. Now what was that tall blokes name ….. oh gee …. did he bat or bowl … gee I can’t remember ….. but he use to do that thing, yeah that thing with his pad, no helmet…. How old did you say you were?”

Me: “27”

LP: “Oh right ….. And have you played for Australia? A tour match or Australia A even?”

Me: “No”

LP: “Gotta go mate, gotta see a bloke about a pub in a dog….. I mean, I mean…  I’m at Buddy’s house with Hutchy. See ya”

 

*Sigh*

 

Buttsy out.

 

 

 

 

 

Hobart Hurricanes preview

IN

Ben Dunk (Sydney Thunder)

Doug Bollinger (Sydney Thunder)

George Bailey (Melbourne Stars)

Aiden Blizzard (Adelaide Strikers)

OUT

Mark Cosgrove (Sydney Thunder)

Rhett Lockyer (Sydney Thunder) – if this was an AFL trade he would be the steak knives that meant you swapped draft pick 57 for draft pick 54

Delisted

Phil Jacques – playing permanently in England.

Luke Feldman

Nick Kruger – unable to commit to Bash due to hosting ‘Big Brother’

Evan Gulbis – still celebrating that he got a contract in BBL|01

Matt Johnson

 

 

THE PLAYERS

Tim Paine – Keeper/captain who is like a new recruit after missing Bash 1 due to complications from Dirk Nannes mashing his finger in a hit and giggle match. Nannes then broke Paine’s finger when they played cricket. TP is loving keyless entry and push button start on his new Prius as he is still unable to hold a set of car keys and he pays for everything by card as he can no longer carry loose change. Has had The Weapon working tirelessly on his finger for the past 2 years….

Ben Laughlin – pacemen & lovely shaper of the ball. According to Brendon Julian his stock balls are the Yorker, the bouncer and the slower ball .Yes, it’s official,  he hates line and length hence his nickname Ben ’No line and length here sonny’ Laughlin. Mind you he does bowl a heavy ball from his low skiddy action that doesn’t let him really bang  it into the pitch. Is currently plying the route pioneered by Damien Wright – domestic T20 in New Zealand  – where he is turning out for some team in the HRV Cup.

Michael Hogan – medium fast rather than fast medium line and length bowler whose length is the perfect hitting length and whose line is down leg side. Has learnt to bowl a domestic standard heavy ball through stints at WA and Glamorgan. Michael ‘Hair Down’ Hogan and Tarvis ‘Party Boy’ Birt will come under heavy scrutiny from team officials as they are known for their rock star lifestyles in Perth as the feted list cloggers of WA cricket.

Rana Naved Ul Hasan – the best four words to come out of Hobart in a long time. One of the all time great mullets and a world class bowler with great control and variations – slower balls, yorkers, slow bouncers, you name them he can do it.  Takes wickets and is a handy  contributor with the bat as well. A great recruiting move by Hobart and he keeps coming back year after year.

George Bailey –  Bailey is  the man that time forgot with a name and appearance that suggest he would have been better suited to being “The Right Honourable George Bailey, Governor of Van Diemen’s Land, 1887 to 1894” ‘The Governor’ decided to abandon his colony for the mainland in the inaugural Bash and produced a mediocre season for the Melbourne Stars which was promptly reward with the captaincy of the Australian T20 team in his first international match – reinforcing the notion that he is ‘The Governor’  The Governor has returned to his native colony this summer and will operate under the leadership of TD Paine. You can’t be Vice- Governor can you?

Doug Bollinger – has been hired

A) to bowl IPL standard left arm heavy balls http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juV_1d1-yNA

B) to lead the boundary line dancers when a six is hit  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-8F4EM_edk

C) to have the hair hat stuck on his bongo mocked http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjMOH6VEPMA

Your choice.

Xavier Doherty – hopefully the Governor will give him the last over of the game against Sydney Thunder when Gayle is batting….. or not. “Subtle variations in pace and flight” are always the phrases bandied about when I hear people talk about XD. To me that reads “Does not spin the ball much, if at all” Australian ODI commitments may preclude him from the pointy end of the Bash.

Travis Birt – Travis ‘Party Boy’ Birt was one of the biggest and most consistent six hitters in Bash 1 so it would be trite to say he can and does hit a long ball. In his spare time he manages the team band, “The Hurricane Howlers” an eclectic mix of Led Zeppelin and Marilyn Manson covers played using traditional Australian bush dance instrument. Birt is on the spoons, Krejza on the bottle caps nailed to a stick thing and Jon Wells, inspired by Ted Egan, is lead vocals and busy perfecting his technique on the Egan patented ‘Foster Phone’ (tapping an empty cardboard slab box for the uninitiated. I know you are thinking, “Surely you jest – that’s not a musical instrument” –  WRONG: )

Owais Shah – one of the best overseas signings from last year. Made a mountain of runs at the top of the order at a good clip and can and does hit a long ball. Known for following a strict organic, vegan, raw foodism diet and is a big fan of activated almonds and alkalised water.

Jason Krejza –  Off spinner. Can bat a bit. Probably best known for being a  member of the “THE SH1T LIST”  the long line of spinners tried since Shane Warne’s retirement.

Jon Wells – a top order batsmen who is bringing out his own range of smart casual wear in a variety of garish, epileptic fit inducing colours that you wouldn’t be seen dead in (makes me think of Rivers.)  His signature outfit is an ensemble inspired by the sailing ships on the Derwent estuary which are not to be missed when watching cricket at Hurricane House.  The nautical theme starts with a pair of white plimsolls to represent the hull of the boat, a pair of the aforementioned garish coloured range of chinos (rolled up at the bottom of course) represent the mast of the yacht and a large white billowy shirt with many, many ruffles represent the sails. Ideal for the middle aged man trying to hide his spinnaker chest. Wells also loves wearing purple, it’s his favourite colour.

Aiden Blizzard – Can hit a very long ball. EVIDENCE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHs8fWaz2cU Hasn’t done much else and is on his third state – Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania.

Ricky Ponting – If you are not familiar with this player perhaps you shouldn’t be reading this blog. Cameo appearances due to Test commitments.

Scott Styris – ‘Billy Ray’ Styris is known to be the grumpiest man in international cricket and has been trotting the globe on the T20 gravy train for a while now. Cracked a whirlwind ton in England this year but I can’t see how he will get a game in Hobart. Rana & Shah are locks in my mind and I believe available for the whole season as neither are close to selection for their respective national teams. Maybe Rana is – last I heard he was having a dispute with his board. Billy Ray will FIFO with his NZ team too so availability will be reduced.

Timm Van Gugten – “Dutchy” is in Hobart as part of a player exchange program aimed to strengthen bilateral cricket and trade ties between the Netherlands and Australia.With degrees in economics, international trade and finance under his belt, Van Gugten is splitting his time in Australia between completing a MBA at Hobart Uni, completing an internship at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, bowling a heavy ball for Sandy Bay on Saturdays in Hobart Grade Cricket and Bash-ing it for Hobart over December- January. In his spare time he likes to sleep. Won’t play.

Ed Cowan – laughable selection. Are they giving out contracts for being a good bloke? What the squad really needs is a slow batsmen best suited to games that go for 4 days not 4 hours. The Hurricanes already have Jon Wells for that job! And Luke Butterworth can’t get a contract in a team that’s crying out for a genuine all rounder – Krejza doesn’t count, he can’t bowl.

 

 

THE SUMMARY

One of the teams to keep the majority of their squad together after BBL|01 and  have only signed 16 players so maybe Luke Butterworth will get a contract. The only loss of note is Phil Jacques who had a very good Bash last season opening but is now permanently in England.  The Hurricanes have strong middle order batting with Shah, Birt and The Governor just a query over the opening partner for Paine- probably Dunk or Wells. The bowling, with the addition of Bollinger, looks to have good variety with left and right arm pacemen and spinners. Only glaring issue is no all rounder – can I suggest LUKE BUTTERWORTH.

 

 

THE XI

  1. Tim Paine
  2. Ben Dunk
  3. Owais Shah
  4. Travis Birt
  5. George Bailey
  6. Aiden Blizzard
  7. Jason Krejza
  8. Rana Naved Ul Hasan
  9. Ben Laughlin
  10. Xavier Doherty
  11. Doug Bollinger

 

PREDICTION: 3rd

Brisbane Heat preview

IN

Mitchell Johnson (Perth Scorchers)

Shane Watson (Sydney Sixers)

Kemar Roach (West Indies)

Dale Steyn (South Africa)

Chris Gannon (new)

Luke Powersbach (Perth Scorchers)

OUT

Matthew Hayden (RETIRED) – is far too busy focusing on his cric-tainment business and trotting out meaningless gibberish and made up clichés to play cricket. Evidence:   http://www.thehaydenway.com/about/

Michael Nesser (Adelaide Strikers) – Saffer born Aussie all rounder, carbon copy of Hopes and Christian – no room for you!

 

Delisted

Roelof van der  Merwe (South Africa)– rarely does getting yourself arrested for drink driving during a tournament endear you to the hierarchy of a team. A South African name that rolls off the tongue and a Big Bash career that rolled out the door.

Brendan McCullum (New Zealand) – Hartley is a perfectly capable keeper but Baz Mac’s top order batting may be missed. Will probably bob up as a late replacement somewhere or FIFO for a match or two from NZ.
Ryan Broad
Chris Swan
Michael Gale
Steve Paulsen
Andrew Robinson
Nick Buchanan

 

 

THE PLAYERS

Ben Cutting – A fast bowler who was in such good form last season that he was 12th man for a Test. This season has been a different story with Cutting in horrendous one day form, conceding over 100 runs in a Ryobi Cup match against Victoria in October. He was dropped for Queensland’s next limited overs appointment.  Predicting big runs from his bowling if he does play. Can hit a long ball.

Alister McDermott – Fiery bloodnut fastbowler, son of Craig, and it looks like he will be a mainstay of the Heat attack. Can bowl a heavy ball. Brings a lot of sunscreen to the dressingroom. Also created a revolutionary fielding practice technique known as “The Ali McD fielding training method” which features teammates throwing cricket equipment at a player as he completes a series of catches. What started innocently enough with the odd forearm gaurd, glove or protective box thrown at the player quickly escalated to helmets, stumps and bats being thrown at the fielder and the whole practice had to be stopped when team joker Chris Lynn tried to throw a bowling machine at Ali McD while he did his catches.

Mitchell Johnson – left arm erratic fast bowler. Where to start? Moved from Queensland to WA to play domestic cricket because his girlfriend (now wife) is based in Perth. He has now signed for Brisbane Heat so he will be back in Queensland over the festive period. Confused? I am – it all makes about as much sense as most of his bowling plans – scattergun! “Midge” as Heat Coach Boof Lehman was calling him recently is currently not in the Australian Test or T20 squads but I’m tipping will play in the Australian ODI team so will miss the pointy end of the BBL season. Johnson is generously listed as an All-rounder on the BBL website – clearly they must have read this recently: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/cricket/i-want-to-open-batting-mitchell-johnson/story-e6frey50-1225790231927

MJ is a divisive figure in cricket discussion circles but is mainly a figure of scorn and hatred in all 7 states and territories of Australia for bowling scattergun rubbish, being mentally fragile, being a selectors pet and doing SFA outside of a purple patch of two series v South Africa in 2008/09.

Ryan Harris – injury afflicted fast bowler who will be busy playing Test cricket if he can get fully fit. Will be a definite starter if available and is known for his ability to bowl a very heavy ball that hits the bat incredibly hard. Should have cut The Weapon as his fitness coach years ago….

Nathan Hauritz – right arm off spinner who turns it slightly more than a doorknob and possibly less than Mark Waugh. He is back in Queensland after moving to NSW to get more opportunities to play for Australia – it worked.  Will be the team’s main spinner but probably give way to Vettori when he’s available.

Daniel Vettori –  behind a  magnificent face rug and a set of specs is the slow left arm orthodox spinner and unconventional lower order batsmen, DL Vettori – a name that may be unfamiliar to Australians as he is captain of cricket minnow, New Zealand.  However as the captain of an international side he brings a lot to the dressing room, not just a beard trimmer. Will be in and out of the side as he simultaneously competes in two t20 competitions either side of ‘the dutch’ via FIFO.

Dan Christian – all rounder of note who will be a key part of any Heat success. He continues to be in good form for SA in state cricket and has been in both Australia’s ODI & T20 squads of late. Christian will be keen for a big BBL season to impress the IPL team bosses after he recently lost his $900,000 a season IPL contract. Ouch! Is known amongst the dressing room as the best tweeter – a very important skill as a modern have- bat- will- travel  t20 cricketer.

James Hopes – A fine Queensland stalwart who is another all rounder and skipper of the side. Catfish has missed a few games this season through injury as he pushes into the autumn of his career and is a champion of the low cost haircut  – check out his bongo and tell me it’s not Dimmey’s or DIY. Hopes is a remarkably similar player to Dan Christian – is there really room for both? As captain he is expected to bring a lot to the dressingroom – oranges, sunscreen, insect repellent, bails, new ball, scorebook, the team kit, etc etc

Joe Burns – batsmen. Possibly right handed but could be left handed. Getting rave reviews north of the Tweed River. Notable for his incredible bat speed. Has run 17 6 in the beep test and beat Haydos’ long standing record for most salad rolls eaten during the lunch break at the Gabba – 11.

Chris Lynn – young batsmen who lit up the Sheffield Shield last year but has been dropped from the QLD 4 day team in favour of the younger Joe Burns. Is known as the joker of the Heat squad – some of his crazy antics last year included putting a comb in Coach Lehmann’s toiletries bag for the away trip to Perth, getting Roloef van der Merwe to give him a lift to training on New Year’s Day (resulting in van der Merwe being done for drink driving) and instigating ‘Yie Yie Yippee Yippee Yea’ as the Heat song. As you can see he brings a lot to the dressing room.

Chris Hartley – veteran keeper who keeps on keeping for Queensland. Can provide some very handy lower order runs and in quick time. Not to be underestimated.  Brings a lot to the dressing room –  in particular a very keen dress sense as he is known to eschew the traditional match day wear of team tracksuit for a sharp pair of slacks,  boat shoes and freshly pressed business shirt. A crowd favourite in Brisbane.

Shane Watson – won’t play. Will either be on international duty, injured or rested so he can injure himself in the game after the one he is rested from.  Should dump The Weapon as his fitness coach.

Kemar Roach – Windies pace man with some serious wheels. Had a few stints at Australian domestic t20 since he terrorised Australia batsmen on the Windies 2008 tour. Notably didn’t play in the Windies world t20 victory which meant the entire West Indies pace attack was the modest mediums of Ravi Rampaul & Keiron Pollard. He was probably injured or having a dispute with the board or has simply lost the ability to bowl and has been so incredibly sh1t of late that someone bowling 105km/h dibbly dobblies was a better option. I can’t be bothered finding out which so I’ll go for the most likely option and say it’s a board dispute.

Peter Forrest – top order bat who was in fine form last summer leading to international one day opportunities. Has been seriously sh1t so far this summer: in 6 shield hits he’s made approximately 50 runs at an average of not very much. Cannot seem to see the Forrest for the trees. His mum gave him some advice the other day yelling out, “Run Forrest Run!” But it was just after he’d creamed one straight to point so resulted in a messy two-batsmen-at-one-end run out. File that under ‘Suicide Singles’ thank you very much. Given the dearth of the top order bats in the team and given he is a top order bat I’ll stick my neck out and say he will bat at the top of the order.

Luke Pomersbach – apparently has been painting houses on the Gold Coast with his former WA teammate Brad Williams. If they were handing out medals for outrunning police through sand dunes whilst drunk he would win gold. Unfortunately cricket isn’t played on sand dunes. He hasn’t got near the Queensland team after moving over from WA where he lost his state contract due to a plethora of indiscretions that make the Marsh brothers look like angels. The final straw was his version of the Ben Cousins triathlon mentioned above. And to think Pomersbach played a t20 international for Australia, being plucked from the WACA stands after Brad Hodge hurt his back in the warm up. Another game for Australia Hodge was denied!! Outrage!! But I digress. I don’t follow Brisbane grade cricket so I have no idea what Pomersbach’s form this season is like. He is a batsmen by the way, so will probably play because there is a paucity of bats in the Heat squad. Expect some sort of alcohol fuelled behaviour incident to occur (the Big Bash is over the festive season and “Pomers” has a habit of putting the silly in silly season.)  I’d keep Brad Williams phone number handy if I were Luke.

Dale Steyn – who? Will only play one game – the first. What’s the point? Well where to start – he bowls an incredibly heavy ball that hits the bat incredibly hard and will bring a wealth of international experience to the dressing room for 3 hours.

Chris Gannon – A fast bowler making his way in the interstate game yet to do anything that I have noticed except that replacing the first letter of his surname with the first letter of his first name you get CANNON – intimidating! And imagine who heavy a ball a CANNON can bowl!!

 

THE   SUMMARY

The squad seems to be light on for top order batting & batting in general but quite strong in all rounders and has a plethora of pacemen. They have only signed 17 players so far and one remaining spot is to be awarded to the winner of a cricket-off – a competition amongst grade and country cricketers to find the best available park cricketer to embarrass himself on a grander stage – brilliant!  Let’s hope they unearth a brutal stroke player from the back blocks of Bundaberg who can open the innings!

 

THE XI

  1. James Hopes
  2. Peter Forrest
  3. Dan Christian
  4. Joe Burns
  5. Chris Lynn
  6. Luke Pomersbach
  7. Chris Hartley
  8. Daniel Vettori
  9. Mitchell Johnson
  10. Nathan Hauritz
  11. Kemar Roach
  12. Alister McDermott

 

THE PREDICTION: 5th

Big Bash League 2012/13

Can you believe it’s only 31 days until BBL|02 begins?

What I can’t believe is that’s the first time I’ve used the | symbol. I’m not even sure what it’s called!

Riveting… now on to the cricket.

Some fast facts about BBL|02

All teams must sign 18 players by November 30, prior to the start of the competition on December 7.

The BBL|02 schedule has increased from 31 to 35 matches with each team now playing 8 home and away games up from 7 last year. This means two Melbourne and Sydney derbies and 4 games in every other capital city. The top 4 qualify for the semi finals (1 v 4 & 2 v 3) with 1 & 2 ganng hosting rghts and the wnners progress to the fnal – the same format as last season.

The fixture: http://www.bigbash.com.au/match-centre/fixture

A heap of players have changed teams as the initial contracts were only for the first season. There are plenty of short term deals out there for internatonal players with a number playing part of the season or a game here or there dependng on other commitments.

Stand by for the team previews, ladder predictions and my XI to watch in BBL|02.