With almost 2 months of IPL coming to a close, a certain void is left in our lives which cannot be filled by any other source of entertainment. It’s T20 cricket which has captured our imagination and brought us close to the game which we enjoy watching the most.
A short layoff from the high intensity drama and action is soon going to culminate into another cricket extravaganza which will leave us by the edge of our seats. Yes, I am talking about the 10th season of Australia’s premier T20 league, Big Bash or BBL!
The upcoming season of BBL has raised the innovation level of the game to another stage as the organizers have decided to include 3 new rules i.e the Bash Boost, X-factor and Power Surge, changing the course of T20 cricket.
One can argue that the rules are in the favour of the batsmen, but considering the way the bowlers have evolved using their different skillsets to fox the batters, it appears to be an equal competition between both bat and ball.
Following the footsteps of IPL, the league has introduced another rule which allows the teams to occupy as many as 3 international marquee players in the playing XI. The provision bestows the local players with an opportunity to interact and learn from these stars, who have dominated and entertained in other popular leagues of the world.
The money game has obviously gone up with the inclusion of these rules and it is natural for a cricket fanatic to be intrigued about the highest-paid players in the league. Here are the top 5 earners in the present season of Big Bash League:
1. D’arcy Short
The southpaw featured recently in the first T20I between India and Australia, unable to take his side past the finishing line. That does not deny the fact that he is the highest-paid player this season of BBL.
Short plays for the Hobart Hurricanes with a salary cap of $258,900. He was also named as the player of the tournament in the 2017-2018 season of the BBL.
The stylish left-hander is a powerful customer, who can clear the biggest of boundaries at will. He also has a few centuries to his name in the prestigious league, meaning he can play that long innings and carry his bat till the end.
His left-arm orthodox spin and lightning-quick reflexes in the field are a few assets of his game which put us under no doubt about his worth as the largest earner.
The Hurricanes will expect a similar show from the batsmen, taking the opposition head-on and putting the team in a dominant position to win crucial encounters.
2. Andrew Tye
One of the first proponents of the knuckleball, Tye seems to have gone off the boil in the last few years. He wasn’t even impressive at this year’s IPL as he went for plenty without picking any wicket.
The bowler would be eager to turn things around during the upcoming edition of the BBL as he is set to represent the Perth Scorchers for a whopping $246,800 salary cap. He is still their valuable asset using the different bowling skills to get the better of the batsmen.
His bowling does come handy at the relatively larger grounds of Australia which gives the bowlers freedom to be brave and expressive. With the added skill of striking big, batting lower down the order, Tye’s presence is almost a necessity in any T20 team.
If he manages to find his rhythm right from the opening fixture, it will go a long way in the bowler spreading his roots as a quality T20 bowler and providing his team with a psychological edge participating in the gruelling tournament.
3. Marcus Stoinis
Unarguably, Stoinis was the best all-rounder at the recently held IPL, who did everything possible to ensure his team ends on the right side of the line.
The man not only showcased his temperament and class batting in the lower middle-order but also did the job as an opener when the specialists didn’t live up to the expectations.
Coming to the 10th edition of BBL, Stoinis will be anticipated to continue with his rich vein of form and rip apart the opposition with his powerful stroke play. The all-rounder will continue his association with Melbourne Stars, who pay him $227,900 as his salary cap.
The Australian is surely a team man, who can be trusted upon to pull off any role with precision and accuracy. His change of pace and use of the bowling angles to fox the batsmen is well documented and skipper Maxwell will look at him as a wicket-taking option rather than considering him as a defensive bowler.
Just as he took Delhi Capitals to their maiden final appearance, Stoinis will leave no stone unturned to ensure that the Stars reach yet another finale and grab the coveted trophy as a token of appreciation!
4. Chris Lynn
This swashbuckler from the Brisbane Heat needs no special introduction as the batsman is tailor-made to suit the shortest format of the game. That he is the highest run-getter from the inception of the BBL is just an extension of the greatness and worth that he carries as a T20 batsman.
Unfortunately, he could not get a game for the Mumbai Indians, who were heavily studded with superstars of the game and thus breaking through wasn’t easy. He enjoyed his stay off the field, interacting and picking the brains of other overseas greats like Boult, de Kock, McClenaghan and Pollard.
The experience and words of wisdom will assist Lynn as a player and a captain, who gets paid a hefty $202,000 playing for the franchise. His stint as a burly and mighty opener will help the Heat in setting daunting targets or chasing them down.
As has been evident in the past, once he gets the start, it is difficult to stop the right-hander and both the pacers and spinners equally bear the brunt of it.
The added responsibility as a leader of the side will definitely curb him from playing the false strokes which could curtail his stay.
The success of the franchise will largely depend on the way he approaches his innings, keeping the requisite balance of aggression and calmness and standing as a solid pillar till the target is achieved!
5. Alex Carey
This wicketkeeper batsman playing for the Adelaide Strikers in the BBL, has come a long way and cemented his place in the Australian limited overs side.
Not just his impeccable glovework behind the stumps but the clean swing of the willow, garnering some exquisite boundaries and magnificent sixes, sees him play ahead of all others and the combination is likely to persist for a few years to come.
Carey earns $199,600 as a salary cap and that is bound to increase if he continues his stellar show with the bat down the order. It’s never easy to start firing your ammunitions right from the word go and players who possess the ability are hot favourites to feature in any T20 side.
Being around for a few games in absence of regular keeper Pant for Delhi Capitals at this year’s IPL, Carey couldn’t exactly exhibit the batting prowess he is known for and many a time was dismissed cheaply.
The franchise will expect a similar bludgeoning of the cricket ball and infliction of a dreadful onslaught, pushing the opposition out of the contest even before the second innings commences!