Cheapie analysis: Bargain buys to lock in for BBL12

In a vital pre-season read, Cricket Australia commentator Max Bryden looks at the bottom dollar SC players to target in BBL12.


Let’s take a look at the best cheapies on offer for BBL|12 to kickstart our SuperCoach season.

Now firstly, we’ve defined a cheapie as anyone sub $80k in starting price. We’ll classify anyone between $80-120k as mid-rangers (article dropping soon) and the premium guns as being $120k+. 

If you’re familiar with NRL SuperCoach, you’ll notice the price rises in this version of the game can be more extreme.

Unlike NRL, price rises start straight away, so nailing the right cheapies is critical to your starting team and the first few rounds to get your cash generation started.

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Last year we saw several cheapies finish in the top 20 total SuperCoach point scorers for the season, including Matt Short who went from $62.5k BAT to the #1 point scorer in the game.

To genuinely be considered a good cheapie with both ‘cash cow’ and point scoring potential, we need to find players who have attractive roles.

For BBL SuperCoach, this means any player who will bat in the top 4, or bowl at least three overs.

We know middle-order batters and part-time bowlers are unreliable in BBL SuperCoach, so we have focused this list based on players from our ‘predicted starting XI’.

Keep your eyes glued to this article as with some updates for injuries and squad selections, these names will move a lot.

  • Harry Conway – $70.6k BWL
    • ROLE: Excellent

One we could be talking about next season as the best of the cheapie crop.

Conway has been around for a while but played a prominent role in the Strikers strong run home where he formed a three-prong pace attack with Peter Siddle and Henry Thornton that got the side within one ball of the Big Bash final.

There’s competition for his position in the side from Wes Agar, but if selected, Conway should be heavily considered for a bench spot. $70k death bowlers with a round 1 DGW don’t grow on trees.

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  • Nick Larkin, Joe Burns, Campbell Kellaway – $62.5k BAT
    • ROLE: Good
    • JOB SECURITY: Decent

I have grouped these three – and could’ve added Webster (but more on that below) – given they’re all battling for the same position and separating them at this point is difficult.

Glenn Maxwell’s injury has created a huge vacancy in the batting order for the Stars and it’s likely two of these three will earn a coveted spot in the top four.

With the round 1 DGW and more specifically playing the first game of the whole season, be prepared to bring in one of whoever gets selected.

The round 2 bye will stall their money making, but you might be able to jag a run of scores from a cheap guy you can stash on your bench that’ll help with cash gen. Kellaway will likely be even cheaper than the other two.

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  • Beau Webster – $62.5k BAT
    • ROLE: Good
    • JOB SECURITY: Great

Beau gets his own write-up as a bigger beneficiary of the Maxwell absence given his bowling.

While he has only bowled in 15 of his 52 T20 matches to-date, he’s turned himself into a regular contributor for Tasmania by virtue of adding medium-pace to his arsenal – he’s the new Colin Miller.

The Stars are a better bowling side compared to last season, but are famously funky with their rotation, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him with a more prominent role this season bowling 1-2 overs per game and batting 6. If he finds form he will make good coin.

  • Cooper Connolly – $42k BAT/BWL
    • ROLE: TBC

One of the best and most popular players in the game is old ‘Looper’ Connolly.

With DPP and bottom dollar price, he shapes as the ideal candidate to hold on your bench for looping purposes.

Connolly captained last year’s Australian U19 crop and is an exciting prospect, but given the Scorchers riches I wouldn’t expect him to feature at all, unless the later stages afford the team the luxury to do so.

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  • Matt Kuhnemann – $71.6k BWL
    • ROLE: Good
    • JOB SECURITY: Poor

A quality bowler who has impressed enough in the last 12 months to earn a gig with the Australian ODI team.

His job security isn’t great, but if Heat do opt for a change of tactic this year, he’s first cab off the rank to partner Mitch Swepson in their spin ranks. He’s a huge chance to feature in round 1, but be out of the side if spin isn’t ideal for their round 3 DGW

  • Harry Nielsen – $62.5k
    • ROLE: Poor
    • JOB SECURITY: Good

Here we go again with Harry. The price and round 1 DGW will attract interest, but projected to bat as low as 7 means Harry is just making up the numbers. If your strategy is to save money at the ‘keeper position, he’s your man, but prepare to be disappointed if you do need to play him.

  • Billy Stanlake – $68.5k
    • ROLE: Good
    • JOB SECURITY: Shaky

The Hurricanes are going to be missing troops in round 1; that we know. Stanlake, if fit, is a good contender to therefore get some gametime in rounds 1 – 3, but beyond that will be competing with the likes of Joel Paris and Chris Tremain for a spot.

Even if selected, the Hurricanes boast multiple allrounders in their top 7 who could take overs from him. Not for me.

  • Chris Tremain – $70.1k BWL
    • ROLE: Good

Another bowler who will benefit from the absences facing the Hurricanes to start the season, Tremain is in his first season at the club and will battle with Paris and Stanlake to partner Ellis and Meredith for the opening few matches.

I tip him to keep Stanlake out of the side. Tremain has, at times, been both the best and worst bowler in the BBL (statistically speaking) and on his day can be a star. I’ll likely avoid given the lack of an early DGW.

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  • Will Sutherland – $62.5k BAT/BWL
    • ROLE: Ok
    • JOB SECURITY: Poor

Here we are again. It feels like we’re always here waiting for Sutherland to become relevant.

With Andre Russell playing the first four matches for the ‘Gades, it feels like we might be waiting just a bit longer.

Sutherland is unlikely to make the team until at least round 5, at which point we’ll get a read on if he’s relevant – nothing in early season form suggests he finally will be.

  • Ruwana Kelapotha – $42k BWL
    • ROLE: Good
    • JOB SECURITY: Poor

A great story this one, and expect to hear it plenty more times if Kelapotha gets a gig this season.

Signed as an international replacement player, he’s a decent leg-spinning allrounder who could join their best XI when Mujeeb and Hosein depart. A potential mid-season trade target worth monitoring.

  • Cory Rocchiccioli – $42k BWL
    • ROLE: Good
    • JOB SECURITY: Poor

Another player in the same mould as Kelapotha – the West Australian leg-spinner is eyeing off a BBL debut for the ‘Gades and should get a chance at some point. Has impressed for WA this season when given the opportunity.

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  • Marcus Harris – $62.5k BAT
    • ROLE: Great
    • JOB SECURITY: Ok, if available

There was a time when Marcus Harris was a handy Big Bash opener, but his rise to the Test side has coincided with a run of form which sees him in the cheapie list. There’s a chance he’s unavailable for most of the season as the back-up-bat in the Test squad.

There’s also a chance he opens the batting for the ‘Gades and pushes Finch or Smarsh to number 3. If the latter scenario eventuates, he’s a good bench loop option, however I project the ‘Gades will back youth over him.

  • Lance Morris – $62.5k BWL
    • ROLE: Great
    • JOB SECURITY: Poor

Morris has gone through a coming of age so far this summer, standing out for Perth in both one-day and first-class cricket.

It’s almost a shame he’s part of the deepest fast-bowling stable meaning we are not guaranteed to see him feature as I genuinely believe he could light up the tournament if given the opportunity.

Keep your eyes on the team sheet in Round 2 as, if he does crack a starting spot, he should go well.

  • Ollie Davies – $62.5k BAT
    • ROLE: Average

Not the type of role which is conducive to SuperCoach, but this year represents the season we might finally see a lot of Ollie in the Big Bash.

He should usurp Alex Ross for the number 5 spot in the Thunder list and is capable of fireworks. If named, could be a bench loop for the opening two rounds, but not without risk given his style of play.

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  • Cameron Green – $62.5k BAT/BWL
    • ROLE: Ideal
    • JOB SECURITY: Good

An awesome mid-season downgrade candidate with what could be one of the best roles in the game.

Green showed us what he could do during the series against India pre-World Cup and could be called on to open for the Scorchers if his return to BBL coincides with the departure of Phil Salt.

There’s a slight chance he opts against the BBL to rest, but he will be extremely popular if he plays. Green shapes as a potential NPR to use for loops for the first half of the season.

Watchlist cheapies (those who might need a few things to fall their way to be relevant):

  • Mac Wright – $62.5k BAT
    • ROLE: Good
    • JOB SECURITY: Poor

A couple of seasons removed from his arrival with a bang, Wright is seemingly in a battle for a top order spot with Caleb Jewell. I tip Jewell to get the vacant number 4 spot and would be avoiding Wright.

  • Henry Hunt – $62.5k BAT
    • ROLE: Ideal
    • JOB SECURITY: Poor           

Very highly regarded in the South Australian system, but potentially seen as a red ball specialist. Could usurp the out of form Jake Weatherald for a spot in the Strikers top 3, but unlikely. One to watch.

  • Todd Murphy – $69.6k BWL
    • ROLE: Great
    • JOB SECURITY: Poor

Potentially the next spinner in line for National honours, Murphy is seriously that good. But in a team boasting Stephen O’Keefe, he will play second fiddle until the inevitable injury to the Sixers front-man occurs.

Off-spin doesn’t typically lend itself to bulk wickets, but if given his chance Murphy should improve on last season’s return.

  • Izharulhaq Naveed – $62.5k BWL
    • ROLE: Good
    • JOB SECURITY: Poor

There’s something about a mystery spinner, and they don’t get too much more mysterious than Naveed who was recently labelled ‘the next Rashid Khan’ by Sixers coach Greg Shipperd.

Naveed is not likely to make the Sixers starting XI for a few reasons; 1) no one knows if he’s good 2) the Sixers don’t often pick two spinners 3) the Sixers bowling depth is stacked. But if he does, why not jump on? There’s just something about a mystery spinner.

  • Sam Elliott – $62.5k BWL
    • ROLE; Good
    • JOB SECURITY: Poor

Elliott debuted last season and was expensive, but could see more game time this summer with the departure of Sam Rainbird from the list. Not one I’d look at unless he locks in a role.

  • Jake Fraser-McGurk – $66k BAT
    • ROLE: Great – Poor
    • JOB SECURITY: Poor

JFM is in this list for the second straight season, but the recruitment of Jono Wells means he’s unlikely to feature in the ‘Gades best XI to begin the season. There’s a slim chance he earns a spot in the top 3, in which case he’s worth a look, but I feel Mack Harvey is in front at this point.

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