BBL News This Week: Stars sign English bat, Strikers add Ahmed, Gotch injury worry
The Melbourne Stars unveiled an English wicketkeeper-batsman while the Adelaide Strikers completed their 18-man roster, while there were some injury concerns which popped up.
The Melbourne Stars confirmed their first overseas signing in Joe Clarke, who is an opening batsman from Nottinghamshire. He offers a wicketkeeping option too.
He averaged 53.17 SuperCoach BBL for Notts in the 2021 Vitality Blast where he opened the batting alongside Alex Hales and kept a few times. He also played three games for the Perth Scorchers last season, although didn’t do much, averaging 23 BBL SC points.
Melbourne Stars Head Coach David Hussey said: “He’ll be a great fit for our batting line up. He’s a really clean striker of the ball and has scored consistently in the competitions he’s played in the last couple of years. Joe also gives us an option with the wicketkeeping gloves so all those elements will be beneficial for our team shape.”
Stars GM Blair Crouch also teased at more international signings soon, when he said: “We’ll be unveiling our other international signings over the next couple of weeks.”
The Adelaide Strikers also completed their 18-man roster with the acquisition of spinner Fawad Ahmed after his release from the Scorchers earlier this year. Ahmed averaged 33 SC BBL points across 17 games in BBL|10,
SACA GM of Cricket Tim Nielsen said: “(Fawad) has a proven record at this level and he brings another dimension to our bowling attack. With our list now complete, we are really looking forward to getting everyone together to begin our campaign with the strong team we have assembled.”
As Nielsen says, Ahmed’s signing rounds out their roster, which means Phil Salt and Danny Briggs haven’t been re-signed. Salt’s absence means Adelaide’s batting appears weak on paper, especially if Travis Head ($151k BAT/BWL) and Alex Carey ($163k BAT/WKP) are unavailable early.
The Stars’ capture of Clarke will help with news that Seb Gotch ($62k WKP/BAT) is battling a finger injury which could rule him out of BBL|11.
Victoria captain Peter Handscomb said: “Gotchy is a bit of a long-term thing with his finger. I think it’s quite hard to hold the bat. His finger doesn’t really bend anymore. He’s trying to deal with that at the moment.”
Heat fast bowler Mark Steketee ($153k BWL) missed Queensland’s Sheffield Shield game this week with a bruised heel. Thunder quick Brendan Doggett ($176k BWL) also suffered a side strain playing for SA in the Shield.
This week’s Shield games will be instructive towards Ashes and Australia A selection which will impact the BBL a lot. Sean Abbott ($169k BWL) took a 6fa enhancing his hopes of being part of the Ashes squad, while Usman Khawaja ($93k BAT) keeps pushing his case for a recall after back-to-back centuries.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman ($208k BWL) also took a 5fa at the T20 World Cup against Scotland which equated to 147 BBL SC points.