Melbourne Stars, a team packed with all-rounders, were thwarted by neighbours Melbourne Renegades in last season’s Big Bash League final. The Stars, who also finished runner-up in the 2015-16 season, have made it out of the league stage in seven out of the eight BBL seasons.
Captain Glenn Maxwell’s return to cricket after taking a break in October is a big boost for the Melbourne outfit. Maxwell, who collected average 64 fantasy points per match in BBL 08, picked up 181 fantasy points against Sydney Sixers in Melbourne.
Yet another Stars all-rounder, Marcus Stoinis, will be keen to repeat his magical BBL 08 season. The 30-year-old grabbed three consecutive 150-plus fantasy points – 190 v Melbourne Renegades, 169 v Adelaide Strikers, and 177 v Brisbane Heats – last season. He will be one of the key members in the squad this season as the West Indian T20 specialist Dwayne Bravo has decided to skip BBL 09.
The Stars have also roped in all-rounders Nathan Coulter-Nile and Hilton Cartwright from Perth Scorchers.
Dale ‘Deadly ‘Steyn
The departure of Jackson Bird and Scott Boland forced the Stars to make the marquee signing, Dale Steyn. Though the South African speedster has played T20 cricket in India, West Indies, etc., he is yet to feature in BBL. Steyn had an impressive 2019 Mzansi Super League picking up 15 wickets from eight matches.
Stars’ batting unit will heavily depend on wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Dunk. The versatile 32-year-old was his team’s second top run-scorer in the league last season. Dunk leads the batting chart in the ongoing Mzansi Super League, with 380 runs from nine innings. The Australian international Peter Handscomb, too, will be hoping to pile up runs in BBL 09.
Top three FPs scorers in BBL 2018-19 season:
Marcus Stoinis (1213 points from 13 matches)
Glenn Maxwell (830 points from 13 matches)
Dwayne Bravo (713 points from 16 matches)
BBL 2019-20 squad: Ben Dunk, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell (Captain), Nic Maddinson, Sebastian Gotch, Nick Larkin, Marcus Stoinis, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Hilton Cartwright, Adam Zampa, Dale Steyn (Overseas Player; to be replaced by Patrick Brown in January) Jonathan Merlo, Jackson Coleman, Lance Morris, Tom O’Connell, Daniel Worrall, Patrick Brown (Overseas Player; to replace Dale Steyn in January), Clint Hinchliffe, Sandeep Lamichhane (Overseas Player).
Play the Australia’s biggest T20 League at HalaPlay from December 17th.