The 2015 Australian Big Bash was an unqualified success this year with pulsating finishes, massive sixes, big crowds and extravagant kits. Another feature of the competition was the large number of English players competing. Many of whom, enjoyed great success along the way as the Perth Scorchers ran out eventual winners. Here I take a look at how each of the 11 players from the home of cricket fared in the land down under.
Alex Hales (Hobart Hurricanes) – 71 runs in 5 games: Recently Hales has become one of England’s brightest young batsman, particularly in T20 form. However he enjoyed an average campaign in the Big Bash which didn’t really take off in the way he would have hoped. Although playing in one of the tournaments struggling sides didn’t help his cause.
Kevin Pieterson (Melbourne Stars) – 293 runs in 8 games, 0 wickets in 2 games: KP performed admirably during the tournament, finding somewhere near his best form once again. The quality of his early performances gave a reminder to the England selectors of what they are missing, a point which he seemed desperate to infer on Australian television afterwards. Some of his knocks were of the highest draw, with an unbeaten 67 vs the Sydney Thunder the highlight of a productive campaign. A golden duck vs the Scorchers the main low point. Eventually his side would once again start well but blow it in the latter rounds. Although his time in Melbourne was a success, with the franchise’s fans and players alike all grateful for his contribution.
Luke Wright (Melbourne Stars) – 170 runs in 9 games: Another solid campaign for the ex-England international. In a team featuring bigger stars such as Pieterson, he did a reasonable job in a somewhat quiet manor. However he didn’t make a fifty and during one barren spell, scored a combined 9 runs in 4 games. Some decent totals were accustomed though and he acted as a reasonably solid batsmen at the top end of the order throughout.
Tim Bresnan (Hobart Hurricanes) – 20 runs in 4 games, 4 wickets in 4 games: A bowler by trade who can hit a decent ball, Bresnan only joined the Hurricanes at the back end of an already doomed campaign. Batting wise, he failed to impress but did reasonably well with the ball. A pretty unspectacular spell in a nut shell. Oh well, at least the Yorkshire lad was able to top up his tan down under.
Ben Stokes (Melbourne Renegades) – 128 runs in 4 games, 3 wickets in 4 games: Stokes was brought in late on after the Renegades were depleted by call ups for many of their Aussie players ahead of the Tri-Series. The all-rounder batted impressively but left plenty to be desired with the ball. Some big hitting and high scores ensured he was a success in Melbourne though. An unbeaten 77 on debut vs the Hobart Hurricanes, was one of the Big Bash’s outstanding knocks.
Michael Carberry (Perth Scorchers) – 266 runs in 10 Games: The man whose England career is seemingly all but over, had a superb tournament which he said reignited ‘his love of the game’. An unbeaten 77 vs the Heat as well as two other 50+ scores, cemented his places as one of the most prolific run scorers in the Big Bash. His was truly a success story and really embraced the experience. Perhaps the national selectors have food for thought.
Michael Lumb (Sydney Sixers) – 265 runs in 10 games: Another player who had a wonderful campaign, Lumb has been in and around the England squads in the shorter forms of the game in recent times. A consistent Big Bash saw him rank amongst compatriots Pieterson and Carberry as one of the best batsmen. However he spoke publicly of his frustration in regularly failing to turn good starts into big scores. His best knock came against the Stars, as he notched up an eye catching 80.
Jason Roy (Sydney Thunder) – 18 runs in 3 games: The Surrey player had a difficult time of things in Australia. Out first ball in his first game, things didn’t get much better from then on. Having impressed so greatly in the English Nat West T20 Blast, Roy earned himself a call up to the England side in the summer. This campaign wasn’t his most lucrative however and 18 runs in 3 games is a miserly total for a player of his potential. He is a talented young player though, so hopefully this experience will help him grow in the long run.
Eoin Morgan (Sydney Thunder) – 41 runs in 4 games: Morgan only competed in the Big Bash for a short amount of time before England duties ensured that he had to leave early for the pre-World Cup tri series. Before his departure though, he didn’t exactly pull up trees in Sydney, hitting 4 mediocre totals.
Freddie Flintoff (Brisbane Heat) – 74 runs in 7 games, 3 wickets in 6 games: Flintoff made a surprise comeback last year, returning to old club Lancashire in the Big Blast. Long past his best, the Ashes winning all-rounder joined the Brisbane Heat pre-tournament. He succeeded more than some would have thought and the Australians enjoyed his presence. A few ducks showed what we all knew, in that he is long gone as a top class player but fared ok overall. He did tend to get hit around a bit but did collect some wickets with the ball. To be honest I think the signing was a reasonable success, purely for the number of shirts he sold and for his personality around the dressing room.
Riki Wessels (Perth Scorchers) – 205 runs in 9 games
A solid campaign for the Australia born Englishman all in all, as he represented a steady option near the top end of the eventual champions’ batting line up. A sole 50 vs Sydney Thunder his moment in the sun. The likes of Carberry may have gained more headlines but Wessels enjoyed a very steady and consistent Big Bash. Although he didn’t often hit big scores, he acted as a solid run builder.