Thunder adds top-order bat Whiteman, Meredith, Burns & Coulter-Nile ruled out, Gades newcomer stars in warmup

The Sydney Thunder added a key cog to their likely Round 1 line-up while there were injury updates on Riley Meredith, Joe Burns and Nathan Coulter-Nile and replacement signing James Seymour starred in Friday’s practice game.

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REPLACEMENTS

The Thunder confirmed the addition of WA top-order bat Sam Whiteman ($62k BAT) as a replacement for Usman Khawaja who is on Ashes duty.

Thunder head of cricket Michael Klinger: “Sam has a really good record batting in the top three for Perth Scorchers, and when I mentioned to Thunder’s coaching staff they were excited by it.”

The Melbourne Renegades also added local bat James Seymour ($42k BAT/BWL) to replace the injured Shaun Marsh.

Gades coach David Saker: β€œJames is a talented bat who we believe is ready to step up and play #BBL cricket. Has the flexibility to open the batting or slot into the middle order.”

The Brisbane Heat kept making the changes with Nathan McSweeney ($42k BAT), Hugo Burdon ($42k BAT) and Liam Guthrie ($42k BWL) coming for Marnus Labuschagne, Mitch Swepson (both Test duty) and Connor Sully (injury) respectively.

The Sydney Sixers added fast bowling pair Nick Winter ($62k BWL) and Lawrence Neil-Smith ($42k BWL) as replacements for Nathan Lyon on Ashes duty and Jackson Bird with Achilles injury respectively.

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INJURIES

Riley Meredith ($134k BWL) is set to miss the first few BBL games due to a hamstring injury. Meredith told SEN Hobart: “I tweaked my hammy a couple of weeks ago. I’ll unfortunately be missing the first couple of games which is disappointing.”

Don’t expect to see Billy Stanlake ($105k BWL) this season. Stars coach Dave Hussey said: “Unlikely (to play this year). Billy has got a stress fracture of the back which is really disappointing… Unfortunately it didn’t go to plan this year.” He’s already been replaced in the squad by Brody Couch ($42k BWL)

Joe Burns ($91k BAT) will also miss games early on. Hussey said: “Joe Burns has had a bit of a scope on his knee. Joe should be right in probably a week or two’s time. He’ll come down to Melbourne on Monday or Tuesday next week.”

Nathan Coulter-Nile ($189k BWL) will also miss the Stars’ first game on Sunday against the Sixers. Hussey told RSN Breakfast: “We’re missing about seven players. We’ve got a skeleton squad going up to Sydney. We’ve got a few injuries in Hatcher and Stanlake. Coulter-Nile won’t be making the trip.”

And Jackson Bird ($119k BWL) provided an update on his Achilles injury. He told RSN: “I’m not far off playing now. I’m a couple of weeks away. Hopefully I should be back around Christmas time.”

PRACTICE GAMES

The Renegades (5-208) beat the Stars (9-156) in today’s only practice game, with new signing James Seymour ($42k BAT/BWL) blasting 59 off 22 balls, while Mackenzie Harvey ($97k BAT) made 60 from 45 deliveries. Will Sutherland ($73k BAT/BWL) continued his good late-innings form with 28 off 14. Stars bowler Brody Couch ($42k BWL) got a 2fa.

For the Stars, Hilton Cartwright ($110k BAT) made 37, while Joe Clarke ($112k WKP/BAT) was out early. Worth noting Beau Webster ($100k BAT) played after being under injury cloud with a side strain. For the Gades, new skipper Kane Richardson ($152k BWL) took 2-19 and Sutherland chipped in with 1-7.

UPDATES

Glenn Maxwell ($195k BAT/BWL) hinted he’s likely to bowl a bit this season. When asked about his bowling, he said: “I’ll still play my role. I did a bit of it at the World Cup, did a lot of it at #IPL. If the match-up is right, if I feel the conditions are right, I’ll probably use myself a fair bit.”

Hussey also was asked about playing three spinners which may help cheapies Clint Hinchliffe ($63k BAT/BWL) and Syed Faridoun ($62k BWL). He said: “Why not (play three spinners)? Personally that’s the way I like playing cricket. People in Australia don’t play spin as well, I think spin plays a big part in winning BBL games.”

Hussey also talked up Faridoun when he told RSN: “He’s been bowling leg spin for the past 18 months to two years, he’s very hard to read, has two googlies, big turning leg spin so I expect him to do particularly well.”

Heat skipper Jimmy Peirson hyped up Jack Wildermuth ($155k BAT/BWL) and Max Bryant ($117k BAT) for big seasons.

Peirson said: “Someone I think we should keep an eye on is Max Bryant, he’s one year more senior & he’s worked on his game tremendously during the off-season.”

On Wildermuth, he added: “Not many people know what he can do with the bat. We’ve seen little bits here and there. I’m expecting a big season from him with the bat and the ball.”

TOMORROW

Josh Philippe will speak to the media and we’ll get the squads for Sunday’s season opener between the Sixers and Stars.

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