As the BBL group stage enters the final weeks of the race for the knockouts this page will keep you updated with all the snippets of news from the tournament
January 22
Melbourne Renegades’ wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Harper, who had been substituted out of the match against Hobart Hurricanes on Tuesday night, has been released from the hospital following observation. Harper collided with Nathan Ellis while running towards the non-striker’s end and was sent tumbling on his back and neck. No timeframe has been set for his return to action.
“Sam left the field to undergo an initial assessment where it was deemed he had sustained concussion,” club doctor Trefor James said. “He was then admitted to hospital for further observation and released a short time later.
“Sam is recovering well and we’ll continue to monitor his health over the coming days before determining a return to play date.”
In a bigger blow to the Renegades, their top run-getter Shaun Marsh – and the second-highest run-getter this season – has been sidelined from the rest of BBL – after suffering a grade one hamstring injury during their chase on Tuesday night.
However, Australia’s white-ball captain Aaron Finch and seamer Kane Richardson, who have returned from India, will be available for Renegades’ next match against Sydney Sixers on Saturday.
January 21
High catch gives Henriques flashbacks
Moises Henriques followed up his powerful innings against the Melbourne Stars with the catch that sealed victory, but admitted the swirling, high chance that came his way off Marcus Stoinis gave him flashbacks to a horrific fielding incident five years ago.
In 2015, while playing for Surrey against Sussex in the T20 Blast at Arudnel, Henriques collided with Rory Burns, leaving him with a broken jaw that required three operations while Burns had facial injuries.
With a loud crowd at the SCG, and Henriques focused on following the ball as it flew into the night sky when Stoinis attempted to launch Nathan Lyon for another six, he was unsure whether other fielders converging on the chance would get out of his way.
“I heard a few noises which is enough to put me off after the incident a few years back, but I thought I’d just stay under it, keep waving my arms and try and take it,” he said. “I don’t know if anyone saw it but when it’s so loud and the crowd’s going there’s no point in calling your name, you’ve got to do some jumping jacks under the ball and try to let everyone know that you’ve got it covered.”
With the bat, Henriques slammed eight sixes in his 31-ball 72 after the Sixers’ innings had been halted by a storm after 3.2 overs which left them with just four more deliveries of the powerplay when the match resumed.
“Given we only had four balls in the powerplay, a bit of moisture, and our spinners perhaps not being that effective, [the score] might just have been par. I’m really happy with how the bowlers closed out,” he said.
The victory took the Sixers back to second as they aim to secure a spot in the Qualifier against the Stars which would give them a second chance of making the final.
January 19
The umpires discuss the weather situation at the Sydney Showground Getty Images
Is five overs enough for a T20 result?
Despite being on the right side of the rain-affected result on Saturday, the Sydney Thunder captain Callum Ferguson has questioned whether five overs should be enough to constitute a match in T20.
The Thunder were ahead of the DLS when rain arrived for the final time against local rivals Sydney Sixers, giving them a vital win as they push for the Big Bash finals.
Earlier in the competition they were denied a victory in Canberra when smoke stopped play against the Adelaide Strikers four balls before the five-over mark had been reached.
“You’d love to be able to stretch the game out longer wouldn’t you, and not have to worry about cut-off times and whatnot,” Ferguson told reporters. “But there’s got to be an end at some point, doesn’t there. It’s like Test cricket, the never-ending Tests aren’t around anymore either.
“It’s frustrating. I’m not sure exactly what the answer is. You’ve just got to make sure that Duckworth-Lewis is as fair as possible and from there at least we got a result. But again, I just wonder whether five overs is enough time to really give you a genuine result. Maybe that’s something we could look at, whether it needs to be 10 [overs]. I don’t know the answer.”
The Sixers captain Moises Henriques reiterated the view that the much-needed rain was more important than the result of a cricket match, but did question whether conditions at the Showground Stadium had been fair after his team were skittled for 76 with the ball zipping around on a damp surface.
“Rather than trying to get the maximum amount of overs played in a gamea more even contest is trying to get both teams batting in the same conditions rather than we go out to bat straight after the covers have been sitting on the wicket for four hours,” Henriques said. “I’m not even sure if they rolled the wicket before we batted on it. Then it’s aired for an hour-and-a-half plus the 20 minutes in the changeover and they [Thunder] get to bat on a rolled wicket.
“But with nights like this you can’t predict when the rain comes as well, so that’s going to make it difficult one, because at the same time they are trying to get as much cricket in for the fans and people watching.”
January 17
Lyon named in Sydney Sixers squad
Nathan Lyon is closing in on a return from the finger injury he suffered in the final Test against New Zealand having been named in the Sydney Sixers’ squad for the local derby against the Sydney Thunder at Sydney Showgrounds on Saturday.
Lyon split his thumb dropping a return catch at the SCG which delayed his entry into this season’s BBL having been overlooked for Australia’s one-day tour of India.
A decision will be taken closer to the start of the match against the Thunder as to whether Lyon is able to make the final XI.
The Sixers, who are currently second, are set to get a major boost to their line-up for the closing stages of qualifying and then the knockouts with Steven Smith and Josh Hazlewood due to be available following the ODI tour of India.
I’m really looking forward to getting back out there for the Sixers,” Lyon said. “Whether that’s Saturday or Monday or whenever, I want to make a contribution as we head towards the finals. We get [Steve] Smith and [Josh] Hazlewood back soon too, so it’s a pretty exciting team to be around.”
Stars lose Haris Rauf
The Melbourne Stars will assess their options following Haris Rauf’s call-up to the Pakistan T20I squad and will see whether there is a window for him to return after three-match series.
Rauf will fly out of Australia on Friday so won’t be available for Saturday’s match against the Perth Scorchers at the MCG.
The final T20I against Bangladesh takes place on January 29 which means Rauf could be available for the latter stages of the knockouts. With the Stars currently well ahead at the top of the table they are all-but certain to be playing in the Qualifier on January 31. Winning that match would put them straight into the final on February 8, but they would get a second chance – on February 6 in the Challenger – if they lose.
A Stars statement said: “The club is currently working through timelines around any potential return for Rauf following the series and will announce any updates to their international roster in due course.”
They will also be without left-arm quick Jackson Coleman, who was Player of the Match against the Scorchers in Perth, for the return fixture at the MCG after he suffered right oblique muscle tightness.