The tenth edition of Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL) is set to begin this month and it promises to be one of the most exciting seasons in the competition’s history. All eight franchises have been busy during the off-season and there has been a fair bit of player movement. Several star names have changed teams and will be wearing different colors in the new BBL season.
Unlike in the IPL, players in the BBL are free to join other teams if they are out of the contract — and many players have done just that. Here we take a look at some players who have switched teams as they are heading into this year’s BBL fixtures.
Probably the most high profile player to make a switch, former Melbourne Stars batsman Peter Handscomb has joined the Hobart Hurricanes, where he will fill the role vacated by the retirement of George Bailey.
Handscomb joins the Hurricanes after 51 matches for the Stars, where he scored 834 runs, including four fifties and one hundred. The Australia batsman couldn’t help the Stars lift the BBL trophy, however, narrowly missing out last season after they lost the final to the Sidney Sixers.
He will no doubt be an excellent addition to the already strong looking Hobart Hurricanes side.
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Former Australia all-rounder Dan Christian has joined his fourth BBL team, leaving the Melbourne Renegades (who finished bottom last season) for the Sidney Sixers (who won the BBL).
Christian is one of the best all-rounders to ever play in the BBL. His experience will be a useful weapon for the Sixers, who will be without Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc for the majority of the tournament.
Christian has played 87 BBL matches and has a healthy average with both bat (22.78) and ball (27.80).
Another all-rounder on the move, Ben Cutting has left the Brisbane Heat after spending nine years with the franchise. The big-hitter will now be playing for the Sydney Thunder.
Cutting brings with him vast amounts of T20 experience, having played in T20 leagues all over the world.
Sydney Thunder were in desperate need of an all-rounder, and Cutting certainly fits the bill. He has 63 wickets to his name over nine seasons of the BBL and an impressive strike rate of 145.51.
Although he likely won’t play much this season, James Pattinson is another big name making a move. On the back of an impressive season with the Mumbai Indians in the 2020 IPL, Pattinson left the Brisbane Heat and returned to the Melbourne Renegades.
Pattinson is in Australia’s Test squad, but if he isn’t a part of the team, he could look for permission to leave the bubble and play in the BBL.
The Nepalese spinner leaves the Melbourne Stars to join Hobart Hurricanes, where he will no doubt have a bigger role to play.
Lamichhane has made a big impact in the BBL in the past, but did not play much for the Stars last season. He has 26 wickets to his name in 20 BBL matches and will have a big role to play leading the Hurricanes’ bowling attack.
Former Australia Test opener Matthew Renshaw has also crossed state lines, moving from the Brisbane Heat to the Adelaide Strikers.
Although he is known more for his ability in the longer format of the game, Renshaw has also impressed in the BBL over the years. In 23 innings, Renshaw has scored 549 runs at a strike-rate of 130.09, with four fifties to his name.
Melbourne Renegades duo Tom Cooper and Jack Wildermuth have moved on after a long stint with the franchise, joining Brisbane Heat as part of both teams’ rejigs.
Cooper has been a solid batsman over the years for the team in Red. Wildermuth returns to the Brisbane Heat and will provide his all-around skills. Wildermuth, who made his Australia debut in 2018, is rated very highly and could make a big impact for the Heat this season.
Billy Stanlake has joined the Melbourne Stars from Adelaide Strikers, with Daniel Worrall moving the other way as part of only the fourth ever trade in BBL history.
The two pacers have represented Australia in limited-overs cricket and will be hoping to make a big impact with their new teams.