All the Big Bash comings and goings
IT'S that time of year in the Big Bash again.
The comings and goings of players as the international scene switches to the shorter form of the game, bringing about big changes for some sides, while others keep their squads in tact.
The upheaval at Perth Scorchers continues, with three key men in AJ Tye, Jhye Richardson and David Willey all called up for their countries.
Struggling Sydney Sixers lose both their English imports, while their cross-town rival Sydney Thunder appear the big winners, regaining BBL05's second-leading runscorer Usman Khawaja and replacing a big-hitting Englishman for another gun Pom.
There's every chance of one more change, too, with Hobart Hurricane D'Arcy Short's overnight ton putting him in the box seat to replace the injured Chris Lynn in the Australian ODI squad. If they don't go for Short, the likes of Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Turner, Joe Burns and Cameron White have also been mentioned as potential replacements.
HERE'S A LOOK AT ALL THE INS AND OUTS AT EACH CLUB
OUTS: Travis Head (Australia)
The Strikers have been the sneaky surprise of the Big Bash. They've had an almost complete roster overhaul with the likes of Ben Dunk, Brad Hodge, Jon Holland, Kane Richardson, Tim Ludeman and both imports departing at the end of last season, but they're top of the table after six games. Travis Head's a big loss, given he's their second-leading runscorer behind boom keeper Alex Carey, but look for Jono Dean to come into the side and for Boof's son Jake Lehmann to step up to the plate with the bat.
No official ins and outs for the Heat, but one half of the Bash Brothers Chris Lynn is out. The Heat are confident he will be back for the clash with the Melbourne Renegades on January 27. He's irreplaceable, but the Heat have a surplus of batting and should be able to cover him adequately.
No official changes for the Hurricanes yet, but surely D'Arcy Short wins the final spot in the one-day team vacated by Lynn. Short has scores of 97, 96 and 122* in this Big Bash season and, if the selectors are going to stick by their "form is crucial" mantra, then he must play. Young West Indian (who appears to have been poached by the Poms) all-rounder Jofra Archer might be the find of the Big Bash.
OUTS: Aaron Finch (Australia), Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan)
INS: Kieron Pollard (West Indies)
Decisions to make at the top with the loss of Aaron Finch on international duties. Do they looks to the competition's second-leading runscorer in Cameron White, veteran Brad Hodge or maybe keeper Tim Ludeman to open the innings? Afghan slowie Mohammad Nabi has been one of the players of the Big Bash. He's been miserly with the ball, conceding just 6.14 runs per over, while picking up six wickets and showed he can be devastating with the bat, plundering 52 off 30 balls to guide the 'Gades to victory in the Melbourne Derby. He will be sorely missed, leaving after Friday night's re-match with the Stars, but it gives spinner Jon Holland an opportunity to impress. Kieron Pollard gives the Renegades the coolest one-two all-round punch in the Big Bash, joining West Indies teammate Dwayne Bravo.
OUTS: Marcus Stoinis (Australia), Adam Zampa (Australia)
INS: None (yet, Liam Bowe (grade cricket) likely)
Things just go from bad to worse for the Melbourne Stars. Bottom of the ladder without a win, they lose their leading runscorer in Stoinis and their best slow bowler in Zampa. Every chance of going winless unless the likes of ageing imports Kevin Pietersen and Luke Wright can fire. At least they will have Glenn Maxwell to keep people interested - if he doesn't get picked for the ODIs. Bespectacled spinner Liam Bowe - known as 'Wizard' for his Harry Potter likeness - is a bit of a cult figure for the men in green and he is likely to be added to the squad.
OUTS: Jhye Richardson (Australia), Andrew Tye (Australia), David Willey (England), Josh Inglis (cut)
INS: Tim Bresnan (England), Cameron Bancroft (Australia), Shaun Marsh (Australia), Matt Kelly (Western Australia)
Shaun Marsh dominated the Sydney Test with his brother Mitchell, but a quad injury means he won't play for the Scorchers in at least the next game - as dictated by Cricket Australia. It's a big blow, because he would have replaced David Willey at the top of the order with Michael Klinger. Returning Test opener Cameron Bancroft may do that job and also take the gloves for third-string keeper Josh Inglis, with Sam Whiteman still injured. Englishman Tim Bresnan's been here before and he will have work to do with both Tye and Richardson on international duties. Tall paceman Matt Kelly has been drafted into the squad from WA. It's envisaged he can play a Tye-like role for the Scorchers.
OUTS: Sam Billings (England), Jason Roy (England), Moises Henriques (indefinite leave)
INS: Nathan Lyon (Australia), Carlos Brathwaite (West Indies), Joe Denly (England)
The Sixers lose a pair of Poms in the misfiring Jason Roy and Sam Billings, just as the latter had finally found some form. They've added some variety with West Indies T20 international captain Carlos Brathwaite, who will fill the all-round void left by the indefinite leave of captain Moises Henriques. Joe Denly might not be the flashiest name in international circles, but he has some serious domestic T20 chops. the 31-year-old was the top run scorer in England T20 last year and holds the highest score in the competition's history of 127. The Sixers' slow stocks get a further boost with the arrival of Australia's greatest ever Test offspinner, Nathan Lyon. Nice Garry.
OUTS: Jos Buttler (England)
INS: Usman Khawaja (Australia), James Vince (England), Nathan McAndrew (NSW)
The Thunder's top order gets a big boost with the addition of Big Bash 05's second-leading run scorer Usman Khawaja - fresh off 171 in the fifth Ashes Test. Englishman James Vince should slot straight into the opening role vacated by countryman Jos Buttler. Thunder fans will be familiar with the composed Pom - he played three games for the club last season and crashed a half century against the archrival Sixers. Nathan McAndrew is a big seamer, replacing Pat Cummins for the rest of the Big Bash as he is tied up with international duties.