Alex Hales (Adelaide Strikers) – The man, nick-named ‘The Halestorm’ by the Adelaide Strikers, who marked his Big Bash debut with a glistening 89 last year for Melbourne Renegades has been snapped up by Adelaide this campaign. The Nottinghamshire and England opener who has an average of 40 in T20 Internationals will be looking to showcase his talents in this year’s Big Bash in order to try and get a contract in the IPL in April after Nottinghamshire gave him the green light to play in the Indian tournament next year.
Craig Kieswetter (Brisbane Heat) – Somerset’s first choice wicket-keeper and aggressive opening batsman seems to have been forgotten by the England selectors after his ex-teammate Jos Buttler’s burst onto the scene, but Kieswetter will be looking to make an impact in the 2013/14 Big Bash. Kieswetter will be confident after scoring 517 runs in the Friends Life T20 finishing as the top run scorer in the tournament ahead of names such as Michael Carberry, Cameron White and Alex Hales.
Dimitri Mascarenhas (Hobart Hurricanes) – The ever youthful Dimitri Mascherenhas may have retired from the longer forms of the game, but his clever and canny bowling style can still cause troubles in the shortest format. He has taken 147 wickets in all T20 cricket and has proved his worth with great performances for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL. He and Owais Shah will be looking to guide the youthful Hobart Hurricanes with their vast experience.
Owais Shah (Hobart Hurricanes) – Owais Shah might not be the most high-profile cricketer in the Big Bash this year, but he brings experience. And some more experience. Then even more experience! He has played in T20 tournaments in India, New Zealand, Australia, Bangladesh, England, South Africa and racked up 4811 T20 runs in his 192 games. A total which is 5th on the list of all-time T20 runs scorers (as of December 3rd 2013).
Luke Wright (Melbourne Stars) – Luke Wright is such a useful player to have in T20 cricket. His bowling might not be what it used to be, given that he has shortened his run-up, but he still packs a punch with the bat in hand. Wright is only 2nd, behind Stuart Broad, on the list of most capped Englishmen in international T20 cricket. Wright already has a BBL hundred to his name after smashing 117 off 60 deliveries in 2012 against Hobart Hurricanes and will be looking to add to his tally of 3519 T20 runs.
Jos Buttler (Melbourne Renegades) – Jos Buttler is one of my favourite cricketers (so please excuse my bias). The Somerset born wicket-keeper batsman has just completed a move to take him to Lancashire in search of a test call up, but he is much more dangerous when facing the white ball. He made his name as a finisher for Somerset and has carried his name into the international arena with some sublime knocks for England when batting down the order. This is Buttler’s first Big Bash and after his performances in the ODI series against Australia in the summer, I don’t think he will have much trouble striking some more towering sixes down under.
Eoin Morgan (Sydney Thunder) – The diminuative Irishman is one of T20’s most dangerous and inventive batsman on his day. Morgan really shone in IPL4 for Kolkata Knight Riders scoring over 300 runs and playing the majority of the games as one of the four permitted overseas players. He has been batting himself into form in Bangladesh recently for Gazi Tank in the Dhaka Premier Division as a warm up for the Aussie Big Bash.
Michael Lumb (Sydney Sixers) – Michael Lumb is one of England’s finest T20 mercenaries. The 33 year old Nottinghamshire and England opener is supremely experienced in T20 cricket, having played in multiple Big Bash’s and IPL’s. The naturally aggresive left-hander is famous for getting his team off to a flying start and his Friends Life 2013 strike rate of 165 proves my point very well. With Michael Carberry’s emergence in the England set up, Lumb will be hoping for plenty of runs this series to cement his place at the top of England’s order.
Chris Tremlett (Sydney Sixers) – When you stand at 6ft 7 and you can bowl like Chris Tremlett can, cricket seems like an easy game. The England quick has been out of the game for a while but is now coming back just as strong as ever. He is heavily involved in the Ashes series currently taking place, but will be hoping to take part in the Big Bash at some point during the tournement. These quick and bouncy Australian pitches are a dream for someone of Tremlett’s stature and he will have his sights on a few more scalps to add to his impressive T20 record of 73 wickets at an average of under 20.
Ravi Bopara (Sydney Sixers) – Ravi Bopara has played T20 competitions in Bangladesh, India, South Africa and England, but this is his first Big Bash League. The 28 year old all-rounder already has 2850 T20 runs to his name, 88 T20 wickets and a nailed on spot in England’s one day squad, so this tournement is just a chance for the Essex player to really confirm his fantastic form from the past few years.