“Roofs” or “Flats”? Um, how about neither?
When Matthew Hayden flipped a bat for the first time at the start of this year’s BBL, there were legitimate questions on social media and on our ball-by-ball coverage, about the physics of it all: “Won’t it always land on the flat surface?”, “what if it lands on neither side and instead stands up?”.
If you were one of those skeptics, pleased to let you know that it’s taken just nine games for your wish to come true. After Colin Ingram called “roofs” for the Strikers, Ashton Turner’s bat-flip landed on the edge, with the bat standing up perpendicularly. Turner cheekily turned it towards the flat side, before winning the repeat flip. All’s well that ends well, then.
— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) December 26, 2018
Christmas Day bash
The prospect of a Big Bash match on Christmas Day appears to be drawing near with Sydney Thunder general manager Lee Germon suggesting it could happen as early as next year.
While the view of Cricket Australia sets a slightly longer timeframe, it is sounding increasingly likely that there will be cricket on Christmas Day in the near future. Germon has a theory that it would be easier to attract a sizeable crowd on December 25, rather than the current arrangement of Christmas Eve matches which can be a tougher sell with families wanting to get home although the games can be a TV ratings winner.
“I think Christmas Day is where it’s heading, and in some ways part of me thinks Christmas Day would be even better than Christmas Eve,” Germon told the Sydney Morning Herald. “On Christmas Eve parents want to get home and get the kids home because Santa is coming. On Christmas Day you can spend the day with family and then look to do something that night. It’s definitely worth a go, and we’re willing to give it a go.”
Pattinson’s wedding clash
James Pattinson will miss Brisbane Heat’s match against Hobart Hurricanes on Saturday night due to being best man at a close friend’s wedding.
Pattinson made his Heat debut against the Strikers, bowling with good pace, and was also involved in a controversial run out when he was allowed to continue batting after the Strikers withdrew their appeal following what appeared a clear error from the third umpire.
“James let us know immediately that there was a clash and we were comfortable with him fulfilling his personal commitment,” said Heat general manager Andrew McShea.
The Hurricanes will also be missing a fast bowling after Tymal Mills, the England and Sussex left-armer, injured his hamstring during a warm-up match.
Hayden flips special bat to usher in “roofs” and “flats” era
The Big Bash is breaking new ground by doing away with the coin toss and opting for a backyard-cricket-style “bat toss”. Matthew Hayden got things going at the Gabba, Adelaide Strikers’ captain Colin Ingram called “roofs” and won the first roll-out of the all-new toss. Naturally, there were questions on the physics of the act, about how an uneven object like a cricket bat would always roll on the flat side. The answer to those questions, of course, is that the BBL is using a specially-designed bat with similar surfaces on both sides, labelled “roofs” and “flats”. And as street cricketers the world over would attest to, the odds aren’t that skewed anyway.
— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) December 19, 2018
Lynn on fire
Chris Lynn will be using a specially designed bat this year – shorter than normal with a thinner handle – as he tries to regularly clear the boundary. And if you hear the phrase “Lynn is on fire tonight”; well his bat literally was a few days ago as part of a promo shoot for the tournament. An image posted by one of the Heat’s media team showed the bat, which won’t be one Lynn uses in the middle.
— Pete Lock (@Pete_locky) December 16, 2018
Jofra’s new skill?
Jofra Archer was one of the stars of last year’s tournament and he’s back with Hobart Hurricanes. The change in ECB regulations now means he will be eligible for an England call-up next year and there was question as to whether he would cut short his BBL stint to bring that date forward. For now, though, he’s in Australia and all set for the tournament. But not sure we’ll see this in the middle…
“Just left arm around thanks ump.”
— Hobart Hurricanes (@HurricanesBBL) December 18, 2018
Paris faces spell on sidelines
Perth Scorchers left-arm quick Joel Paris is to set to miss up to a month of the BBL after suffering a back injury. However, the Scorchers can still boast an enviable fast bowling attack with Andrew Tye, Nathan Coulter-Nile, David Willey and Jason Behrendorff among the best in T20 cricket
Bancroft’s smile getting ‘broader and broader
Cameron Bancroft is tipped to make his return to professional cricket the day after his ban finishes when Perth Scorchers face Hobart Hurricances at Launceston on December 30.
Speaking during the Perth Test, WACA chief executive Christina Matthews spoke about Bancroft’s frame of mind as he completes his community service.
“As each day in December passes he’s smiling broader and broader,” Matthews said. “And he’s started doing a few more public appearances, so he was a guest at a breakfast this morning and he’s happy to talk openly about it because he’s learnt so much himself. He’s probably had an easier road than the other two because he’s been very set and we’ve been very set in how to go about it. So he hasn’t chased other tournaments around the world. He’s worked with the squad and to be fair he’s had a contract so he’s had obligations as well.”
Boost for Scorchers, Strikers and Renegades
Mitchell Marsh, Peter Siddle and Chris Tremain who have been part of Australia’s Test squad for the first two matches against India, have been made available for the opening fixtures of the BBL. Siddle will therefore be able to take part in the opening match of the tournament when Adelaide Strikers take on Brisbane Heat at the Gabba.
Marsh and Tremain will then go head-to-head when Perth Scorchers take on Melbourne Renegades at Marvel Stadium. Although a vastly different format, Marsh is hoping that success in the BBL will help push his case for a Test return although he may already be closing in on a comeback after the struggles of Peter Handscomb.