The much-awaited T20 season in Australia begins with the professional men’s Twenty20 domestic competition set to get underway in December. Popularly known as the KFC Big Bash League, the tournament for the year 2018/19 which is the 8th season will commence on the 19th of December 2018.
The 2-month long tournament will be played as a double round robin tournament for the 1st time in its history and will culminate on the 17th of February. Each team will get to play each other twice once at home and away on another instance. The season consists of 56 regular season matches among 8 participating teams to identify the 4 semi-finalists. Two semi-finals and a blockbuster finale will follow at the end of which we shall be able to crown the domestic T20 champions in Australia.
The tournament will be broadcasted by Seven Network and Fox Cricket Australia after the broadcasting rights deal made between Cricket Australia and the afore-mentioned broadcasting companies. Channel Seven will broadcast 43 matches including the 3 final round matches while Fox Cricket will broadcast the other 16 matches.
The Adelaide Strikers are the defending champions this year after they won the tournament for the 2017/18 season. Brisbane Heat, Hobart Hurricanes, Melbourne Renegades, Melbourne Stars, Perth Scorchers, Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder are the other 7 teams taking part in the tournament. The Scorchers, Strikers, Renegades and the Hurricanes finished as the top 4 teams at the end of the league stage last year. The Strikers and the Hurricanes progressed through to the finals, which was ultimately won by the Adelaide Strikers who defeated the Hobart Hurricanes by 25 runs. Jake Weatherald was the hero of the match scoring 115 off 70 deliveries while D’Arcy Short made a valiant attempt at chasing down the target scoring 68 off just 44 deliveries.
D’Arcy Short of the Hobart Strikers was the leading run scorer of BBL 2017/18 scoring 572 runs at an average of 57.32 inclusive of 1 century and 4 half centuries. Short scored the top individual score of the entire season by scoring 122 not out. Alex Carey of the Adelaide Strikers was 2nd with an aggregate of 443 runs with a top score of 100. Both the batsman have gone on to represent Australia at the highest level. Such is the impact of performing well at the BBL. The Strikers, in fact, had 3 out of the top 5 run-getters of BBL 7 in their side with Jake Weatherald and captain Travis Head to scoring well beyond 375 runs. Veteran Shane Watson representing the Sydney Thunders too had a good season last year scoring 331 runs in 10 innings. He carried his form through to the IPL that followed scoring 2 centuries during that series.
Rashid Khan, the 20-year-old leg-spinner from Afghanistan who is currently the leading bowler in T20 International cricket captured 18 wickets to end as the top bowler of BBL 7. His wickets came at an economy rate of 5.65 runs per over and at an average of 13.83 per wicket. Recently retired Dwayne Bravo representing the Melbourne Renegades captured an equal number of wickets as Khan but at a higher economy rate of 8.47 runs per over. Andrew Tye captured 16 wickets in just 6 matches for the Perth Scorchers at an astonishing strike rate of 8.8 deliveries per wicket while Ben Laughlin and Jofra Archer to finished with 16 wickets apiece.
But the past only helps so far in making our cricket Big Bash prediction and to create a good betting tip we need to look at the future. So now let’s take a look at the teams and the lineup of players.
The Adelaide Strikers represent Adelaide based in the state of South Australia. They are captained by Travis Head and coached by former Australian fast bowler Jason Gillespie. They tasted success last year after a string of disappointing seasons in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2016 where they failed to qualify for the playoffs. Jake Weatherald, 30-year-old Jonathan Wells, Colin Ingram, and Alex Carey are the key batsmen in the side. Michael Neser and Daniel Drew are the all-rounders in the side with Billy Stanlake, Ben Laughlin, Peter Siddle and Rashid Khan the key bowlers for the Strikers.
Brisbane Heat is the franchise cricket team from the Australian state of Queensland representing Brisbane. They won the Big Bash in 2012/13 and have not qualified for the playoffs ever since. Heat is captained by the former captain of New Zealand, Brendon McCullum and coached by former New Zealand left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori. The key batsmen for Brisbane Heat are Marnus Labuschagne who recently made his test debut against Pakistan, Joe Burns, McCullum, T20 specialist Chris Lynn, and Matt Renshaw. Ben Cutting and Shadab Khan of Pakistan are the key all-rounders in the side with James Pattinson and Mark Steketee being the key fast bowlers. Heat have signed up Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Yasir Shah this year and the duo along with Shadab forms a formidable spin attack.
The Hobart Hurricanes became the runners-up last year and during BBL 3 but have never gone on to win the coveted trophy. They represent Hobart Tasmania and proudly wear the purple cricket uniform. The Hurricanes are captained by 36-year-old right-hander George Bailey with Adam Griffith and Ben Rohrer as the head coaches. Hobart holds most of the batting records in BBL history. They hold the highest team score of 223 for 8 and account for the 3 highest run chases in Big Bash history. The key batsmen for the Hurricanes are captain Bailey, Alex Doolan, Nathan Reardon, and D’Arcy Short. Test captain Tim Paine will fight it out for a position with Matthew Wade while Ben McDermott who made his T20 debut against Pakistan in UAE will be a key player to watch out for. The pace bowling attack will be led by Tymal Mills and Jofra Archer with Jake Reed and Aaron Summers capable of producing serious pace that can trouble the opposition batsmen.
A professional cricket team representing the Australia state of Victoria, the Renegades wear the red color kit in the BBL. They are coached by Andrew McDonald and are captained by Australia’s T20 captain Aaron Finch. Renegades are another team that is strong on paper but have performed poorly in BBL cricket over the years. They have qualified for the final round only twice in 7 seasons and will be determined to perform better this year. Aaron Finch, Tom Cooper, Cameron White, Beau Webster are key batsmen in the side along with Dwayne Bravo, Jack Wildermuth, Mohammad Nabi, Kieron Pollard, and Dan Christian. Chris Tremain, Joe Mennie, and Kane Richardson will lead the bowling attack with Jon Holland, Cameron Boyce and the 47-year-old Bradley Hogg expected to lead the spin bowling department.
The Stars are another team from the state of Melbourne Victoria. They play in green attire and have the Melbourne Cricket Ground as their home venue. Stephen Fleming coaches the Stars and as we write this article they are yet to name a captain for this season. They have been one of the more successful teams over the years, having reached the semi-finals in all past 7 seasons. They finished on top at the end of the league stage in 2013 winning all 8 matches during the league stage only to lose the semi-finals. They will be determined to go one step further and capture that elusive 1st BBL title. Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Evan Gulbis, Peter Handscomb and Ben Dunk are the key batsmen in the side. The pace attack will be led by Scott Boland with Jackson Coleman for support. Australia’s leg-spinner Adam Zampa along with Nepal’s teenage sensation Sandeep Lamichchane are the key spin bowlers in the side with Michael Beer for support with his left-arm spin.
The Scorchers represent Perth in the Big Bash League and are undoubtedly the most successful team in the history of the tournament. They have won three championships and ended-up as the runners-up twice. They won BBL 3 and 4 in consecutive years to become the 1st team to achieve the feat in the league’s history. Mitchell Marsh has been named the captain of the team with Adam Voges as the head coach. Michael Klinger, Mitchell’s brother Shaun, Hilton Cartwright are the notable batsmen in the side. Cameron Bancroft who was reprimanded for his involvement in the infamous ball-tampering saga in Newlands has been named as the opening batsman in the side. The Scorchers have a plethora of all-rounders to choose from and all are of great calibre. David Willey and Tim Bresnan from England along with Ashton Agar are the 3 most notable figures. Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, left-arm pace bowler Joel Paris, Jhye Richardson, and Andrew Tye form a formidable pace attack for the Scorchers with Agar and James Muirhead expected to support with spin.
The Sixers along with the Sydney Thunder are the successors of the New South Wales Blues who played the Big Bash during the initial stages of the tournament. The winners of the inaugural BBL in 2012 they have since then ended up as the runners-up on two more occasions in 2014 and 2016. Moises Henriques is the captain of the side with Greg Shipperd as the head coach. David Hughes’ brother Daniel Hughes, Jordan Silk, Moises Henriques are the key batsmen from Australia but the international players form the nucleus of the batting unit. Jason Roy, Joe Denly, Sam Billings, Carlos Brathwaite are a few international stars that would be joining the Sixers. The bowling attack will be lead by Mitchell Starc, Jackson Bird, John Hastings and Sean Abbott with Nathan Lyon, Denly and Steve O’Keefe to participate as the primary spin bowlers.
The 8th and final team taking part in the Big Bash League is Sydney Thunder. They will be taking part in their 5th BBL and will sport a lime green playing kit. The team will be led by Shane Watson, the former all-rounder from Australia with Shane Bond as the head coach. Sydney Thunder became the champions in 2015/16 but have finished as the ‘wooden-spooners’ in the rest of the seasons finishing 7th or 8th at the end of the league stage on 5 occasions. Usman Khawaja, Callum Ferguson, Kurtis Patterson, Daniel Sams, and Ryan Gibson are the key batsmen from Australia. Jos Buttler and Joe Root from England are expected to join the side and these two will provide the oomph to this lineup. Pat Cummins will spearhead the bowling attack with Clint McKay. 32-year-old Mitchell McClenaghan from New Zealand, Andrew Fekete, and Gurinder Sandhu are the other pace bowlers in the squad. Fawad Ahmed and Chris Green will bowl leg-spin and off-spin respectively with 20-year-old rookie leg-spinner Arjun Nair expected to play a few games as well.
The 2-month long 59-match cricketing fiesta is a much-awaited sporting event in Australia’s cricketing calendar. This year’s BBL is expected to be a keenly contested one with opportunities up for grabs for the Aussie players that perform well. The 50-over world cup in 2019 is just around the corner and whoever performs well can make a strong claim for a place in the flight to England.
Making the best cricket betting tips is our number one goal. The Perth Scorchers and Melbourne Stars are the most successful teams in Big Bash history and we expect them to do well during this season as well. They have strong sides and know how to perform at the highest stage. We predict these teams to reach the final round of the tournament and we predict that the Perth Scorchers will win the entire tournament!
Join us on the 19th of December as we prepare for what promises to be a great BBL season 2018/19.
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