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CA left red-faced as BBL draft sees biggest stars snubbed




The inaugural BBL draft has seen drama aplenty in the ‘platinum’ player pool, with a host of leading names including Faf du Plessis and Andre Russell left on the table.

The former Proteas captain had been used regularly by Cricket Australia in early marketing for both the draft and the upcoming tournament, and was expected to be one of the most prized selections.

However, presumably due to concerns over his availability, with du Plessis set to miss the later stages of the BBL to play in the Abu Dhabi T10 competition, none of the eight teams were willing to pick the South African veteran or T20 icon Russell, who is in a similar situation.

The snubs are a blow to CA’s hopes of revitalising the tournament with a host of leading names in international cricket, having seen ratings and public interest in the BBL wane in the past few seasons.

The Melbourne Stars’ bid to land Rashid Khan has also been thwarted as England’s Liam Livingstone became the No.1 Platinum pick in the BBL draft after being chosen by the Melbourne Renegades.

The Stars used their prized second pick to nominate Khan in the Platinum round, but the Adelaide Strikers exercised their retention pick to keep the star Afghanistan spinner.

“I was thinking of Darryl Kerrigan, ‘tell him he’s dreaming’,” Strikers coach Jason Gillespie joked. 

“Our plan was always to retain Rashid. Wonderful player, wonderful person. He’s been brilliant for our franchise over a number of years, and absolutely delighted to have him back.”

The Stars turned to plan B to select star New Zealand paceman Trent Boult.

The Brisbane Heat used pick No.3 to lure Englishman Sam Billings, with the Sydney Thunder deciding against using their retention pick.

Sixers coach Greg Shipperd overlooked international stars such as Andre Russell, Faf du Plessis and Kieron Pollard to select Chris Jordan at pick No.4

“He’s cool, calm and collected in the big moments,” Shipperd told Fox Sports. 

“We’re chasing high-end pace and a death bowler, so he fitted the bill perfectly for us.”

The Perth Scorchers pulled off a big shock when they passed on their No.6 Platinum pick.

“Availability is a real key for us,” Scorchers coach Adam Voges said. 

“We know what type of player we want, the skill set we want, and we feel like there’s some good options in the gold round for us. 

“We love guys coming back who have played for us before, and fit into our group really well.”

The Sydney Thunder went with David Willey at No.7 given he will be available for the entire tournament.

Hobart had the last pick in the Platinum round and they went with Pakistan’s Shadab Khan.

“He’s a high-class international leg spinner, he’s very handy with the bat as well, and he’s a gun in the field,” Hurricanes head of strategy Ricky Ponting said. 

“So we think we’re bringing in a three-dimensional cricketer.

“It looks like he’s got reasonable availability.”

Renegades star Aaron Finch was thrilled his team landed Livingstone.

“It was a no-brainer for us,” Finch said.

“What he offers with the bat is exceptional. And what he delivers in the field and with the ball, being able to bowl legspin and offspin, I think he’s a beautiful fit for the Renegades.”

Each player selected in the platinum category earns $340,000.

Du Plessis, Jason Roy, Pollard, Russell and Dwayne Bravo were all overlooked in the Platinum round, most likely due to availability issues.

BBL PLATINUM ROUND PICKS

1 – Melbourne Renegades – Liam Livingstone (England)

2 – Melbourne Stars – Trent Boult (New Zealand)

3 – Brisbane Heat – Sam Billings (England)

4 – Sydney Sixers – Chris Jordan (England)

5 – Adelaide Strikers – Rashid Khan (Afghanistan) retention pick

6 – Perth Scorchers – Passed

7 – Sydney Thunder – David Willey (England)

8 – Hobart Hurricanes – Shadab Khan (Pakistan)

© AAP





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