International availability: Impact on key imports, Aussie stars

2019 SuperCoach BBL champion Thommo Aitken assesses the availability of the competition's key imports and Australian stars.

Key Analysis Planning Pre-season

G’day Supercoaches,

It is that time of year again where we gather intel and plan our charge to Supercoach Big Bash glory!

There are plenty of cricketing options such as the WBBL, Sheffield Shield and T20 World Cup to wet our appetite before the BBL commences on December 5.

In this article we will explore some fixtures that have the potential to impact player availability throughout the BBL.

We all know that the BBL fixture itself is a massive consideration when compiling your Supercoach squad. Another element that needs consideration are the international fixtures too because there is nothing worse than selecting a player, only to see them shortly depart the tournament for other commitments!

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The Big Bash

December 5 till January 19 (Well the Supercoach portion anyway!)

Major Fixture 1

Australia A vs England Lions Tour Match II December 9 – 12

England Lions

Tom Abell (Brisbane Heat), Saqib Mahmood (Sydney Thunder) and Harry Brook (Hobart Hurricanes) have all been named in the England Lions squad.

This squad will be assisting with England’s Ashes preparations by participating in two intra-squad fixtures and then the aforementioned fixture against the Australia A side.

There is also the possibility that these players may be added to the official England squad to act as some form of depth throughout the series.

This means that Abell, Mahmood and Brook should miss the opening few rounds and this would be particularly relevant for Abell as the Heat have a double game in the first round of action.

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Australia A

Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Henry Hunt, Josh Inglis, Nic Maddinson, Mitchell Marsh, Matt Renshaw, Mark Steketee, Bryce Street.

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Major Fixture 2

The Ashes II December 8 till January 18

As a general rule, those heavily involved in the Test squad do not currently hold BBL deals which does make things a little bit easier for us. Fringe members such as Richardson, Swepson, Neser etc. may be made available at different stages.

Full squad: Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner.

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Major Fixture 3

England vs West Indies T20 series II January 22 till January 30

The first fixture actually begins after the final round of Supercoach Big Bash, so hopefully the impact won’t be too significant.

I’ll need a crystal ball to try and predict the exact time English players will leave in time for this series, but it certainly is one to monitor towards the back end of the season.

Additionally, after a gruelling T20 world cup campaign and the Ashes Tour, it would not surprise in the slightest if the squad selection could be quite varied. Will any players in form and plying their trade in the BBL earn a trip on the tour?

English Players involved in the BBL:

Alex Hales, Sam Billings, Saqib Mahmood, James Vince, Tom Curran, Harry Brook, Tom Abell, Ben Duckett, George Garton, Laurie Evans, Reece Topley, Joe Clarke.

For the West Indies, Carlos Brathwaite (Sydney Sixers) has signed on for another tournament. It looks likely that he won’t be involved in the West Indies set up (he wasn’t included in their T20 world cup squad) and will be playing the whole tournament for the Sixers.

In fact, his last appearance playing for his nation was in 2019, but I guess you never know.

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Major fixture 4

India vs NZ second Test II December 3-7 and NZ vs Bangladesh

As it stands this fixture shouldn’t impact things too significantly. Colin Munro (Scorchers) will be on deck again but won’t feature in the Test. Nor has he been included in the Kiwis T20 squad of late, one would imagine he should be available for the whole tournament for Perth.

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