With BBL10 now wrapped up, we can look back and marvel at some of the tournament’s performances.
Some of the most impressive performances came from the older players of the BBL. The Sixers had the most senior squad of the tournament, with players like Dan Christian and Steve O’Keefe leading from the front. While such players might not get the call-up to the Australian side that many of them deserve, the senior BBL players deserve to be praised.
To be picked for this team, players need to be at least 33 years old and have played at least five BBL games to be selected.
1. Usman Khawaja (34)15 matches, 338 runs, 24.14 average, 127.54 strike rateOpening the innings we have experienced Test player Usman Khawaja. He played a vital hand at the top of the Thunder order, complementing Alex Hales’s strong hitting with beautiful placement, seemingly able to caress the ball through all gaps. His most significant performance was 49 against the Hurricanes. It wasn’t Khawaja’s best season, but he was very consistent.
(Photo by Chris Hyde – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)
2. Shaun Marsh (37)12 matches, 312 runs, 26 average, 126.82 strike rateMarsh played a lone hand for the Renegades in the early part of the season before he left for Perth to welcome the birth of his child. Marsh continues to be extremely important to Australian cricket, as shown by his recent win as domestic player of the year for the second year in a row. While Australian representation may have passed Marsh by at this point, he will undoubtedly continue to score heavily at the domestic level.
3. Callum Ferguson (captain) (36)15 matches, 405 runs, 31.15 average, 123.85 strike rateFerguson is forever underrated. It was another finals-bound season for the Ferguson-led Thunder, who couldn’t quite get it over the line. He had another great season though – anything over 400 runs in the Big Bash is elite, and although he may not have the big hitting of Hales or the pure technique of Khawaja, he played just as important part in the Thunder’s season. This comes on top of his leadership abilities – being the only full-time captain for BBL10 in this squad, he is naturally the captain this veterans XI.
Callum Ferguson. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
4. Colin Munro (33)16 matches, 443 runs, 36.08 average, 141.04 strike rateMunro is the only international player to appear in this XI. He had a season to remember, and even though he didn’t get to play many games in Perth, he looked comfortable in the fiery orange. Criticised for starting slow, Munro more than made up for it at the back end of an innings, with his strike rate showing just how good he is. Is it possible the Black Caps will come calling back for the upcoming World Cup? Munro will be hoping so.
5. Moises Henriques (34)Five matches, 156 runs, 38.75 average, 155 strike rateThe captain of the BBL10-winning side. One of the most experienced men in Australian cricket, Henriques came in after his absence with the Test squad and added to an already solid Sixers squad. He complemented the big-hitting of Josh Philippe beautifully and used his experience and knowledge of bowling to punch gaps and run hard. Although he didn’t feature with the ball, it is always handy to have an extra option in the side. With his captaincy experience included, he picked himself for this side.
(Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)
6. Dan Christian (37)16 matches, 272 runs, 34 average, 182.53 strike rate15 wickets, 26.53 average, 8.84 economyThe inspiration for this XI, the king of the old blokes XI and a winner in every sense of the word. Dan has had a campaign to remember with both bat and ball. Unfortunately it didn’t end with an Australian call-up, although it would have been well deserved. With yet another title in the bank for Christian – his ninth domestic title and his third Big Bash title – what makes Christian so good? It’s his versatility to bat up the order and play a sensible run-a-ball innings or, as he did against the Strikers, hit a 17-ball half-ton and rewrite the record books.
Christian’s bowling was more than handy, taking critical wickets with a new style bowling – nearly round arm at the heels of the batsman from around the wicket. His key stat, though, is his strike rate. Striking at 180 in a tournament is outrageous.
7. Ben Cutting (34)15 matches, 285 runs, 21 average, 156.4 strike rateWhile Cutting’s bowling wasn’t anything to scream about this season, averaging 55 with the ball, his batting stood up a level. He has a strike rate up there with the best and some of the cleanest ball hitting I’ve ever seen. After being dumped from the Heat squad, Cutting has proved his worth to the Thunder. His economy rate with the ball has also been excellent, at 7.65 in BBL10. He will be hoping for more wickets next campaign.
8. Peter Siddle (36)13 matches, 19 wickets 17 average, 7.45 economyThe ever-consistent performer, Siddle had another excellent season for the Strikers. He took the captaincy at the start of the tournament before an unfortunate injury stopped him for a small while. Siddle’s consistency and economy rate are the standouts. After being mainly a red-ball bowler two years ago, he’s since become one of Australia’s best T20 players, which is a credit to his dedication. Siddle’s 5-16 against the Hurricanes will be his highlight for the season.
9. Steve O’Keefe (36)14 matches, 15 wickets 22.66 average, 6.93 economyMany have predicted this could be O’Keefe’s last season, but he should go around next year with the quality he dished up this year. His three-step run-up and little dobblers seem to confuse all batsmen who face him. With subtle changes of pace and the ability to put the ball on the dime, his economy rate is unbelievable, going under seven against some of the world’s best batsman. It all shows just how good he is.
10. Morne Morkel (36)Six matches, 5 wickets 33.2 average, 8.38 economyThe former great South African international delivered a strong performance for the Heat as a local player after gaining permanent residency in Australia. He primarily played as an X factor sub after the ten-over mark to bowl his four overs, often bowling during the power surge. While his season wasn’t the greatest of all time and he may not have the numbers of his colleagues in this side, he is undoubtedly deserving of his spot in this XI.
11. Fawad Ahmed (39)17 matches, 15 wickets 29.06 average, 7.77 economyThe oldest member of this squad, Fawad was crucial in getting the Scorchers to the BBL10 final. A more traditional leg spinner than Rashid Khan or Adam Zampa, Fawad can exert spin out of even the flattest of pitches. This on top of his devastating wrong ‘un makes Fawad a devastating bowler to face.