Everything you need to know about the BBL foreign player draft

Everything you need to know about the BBL foreign player draft

Everything you need to know about the BBL foreign player draft

For the first time, foreign BBL players will be selected via draft. ESPNcricinfo gives you an overview of how it works.

First of all. When does this take place?
August 28, from 6.30pm AEST, shortly after the conclusion of Australia’s first ODI against Zimbabwe. In Australia, it will air on Fox Cricket and Kayo. On ESPNcricinfo there will be a live blog bringing you all the updates.

How are the players ranked?

There are four slices in total: platinum (AUD 340,000; approximately USD 236,000), gold (AUD 260,000; approximately USD 181,000), silver (AUD 175,000; approximately USD 121,000) and bronze (AUD 100,000; around $69,000). Players themselves could choose one of the bottom three and designate their availability, and CA selected 12 of the top names for the top bracket with the additional amount above gold fees coming from a marketing pool. A total of 332 players registered. A reminder also that BBL clubs have a salary cap of 1.9 million Australian dollars (about 1.3 million US dollars).

They are the platinum players: Faf du Plessis, Jason Roy, Liam Livingstone, Sam Billings, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, David Willey, Shadab Khan, Dwayne Bravo, Rashid Khan, Chris Jordan and Trent Boult.

Platinums are also available in Gold with the exception of Rashid, Boult, Pollard and Russell. Most players have named themselves in gold and silver, with some available in all three groups, although Joe Clarke, Sandeep Lamichhane, Obed McCoy and Rilee Rossouw are only in gold. Likewise, a few that got into silver that won’t be available in bronze. (More on some potentially interesting choices below).

So who gets the top pick?
This was decided by a weighted lottery, based on where the teams finished last season, with Melbourne Renegades coming out with the top pick and Hobart Hurricanes No.8 (so Ricky Ponting could have his work cut out for him in as Chief Strategy Officer). Teams don’t have to select a platinum player, but they must select a minimum of two and a maximum of three names in total during the night – and can only select once in each category. There will therefore be up to 24 players signed in the draft. Here is the full command:

First round (platinum only) 1 Melbourne Renegades, 2 Melbourne Stars, 3 Brisbane Heat, 4 Sydney Sixers, 5 Adelaide Strikers 6, Perth Scorchers, 7 Sydney Thunder, 8 Hobart Hurricanes

Second round (platinum and gold) 9 Melbourne Renegades, 10 Melbourne Stars, 11 Brisbane Heat, 12 Sydney Sixers, 13 Adelaide Strikers, 14 Perth Scorchers, 15 Sydney Thunder, 16 Hobart Hurricanes

Third round (gold and silver) 17 Hobart Hurricanes, 18 Sydney Thunder, 19 Perth Scorchers, 20 Adelaide Strikers, 21 Sydney Sixers, 22 Brisbane Heat, 23 Melbourne Stars, 24 Melbourne Renegades

Fourth round (silver and bronze) 25 Melbourne Renegades, 26 Melbourne Stars, 27 Brisbane Heat, 28 Sydney Sixers, 29 Adelaide Strikers, 30 Perth Scorchers, 31 Sydney Thunder, 32 Hobart Hurricanes

I heard about a retention option, what is it?
This allows a club to keep a player who was part of its squad last season. This has been dubbed the “Rashid Khan rule” because Adelaide strikers would have to use it to keep Rashid if another club tries to get him before Strikes is handed the fifth pick in the platinum round. In the first group, Rashid aside, Andre Russell (Stars), Chris Jordan (Sixers), Shadab Khan (Sixers) and Sam Billings (Thunder) are eligible for maintenance. In total, there are 28 eligible players, including James Vince (Sixers), Alex Hales (Thunder), Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Heat), Tom Curran (Sixers), Colin Munro (Scorchers) and Joe Clarke (Stars).

These new leagues in January are a problem, right?

Well, a challenge for sure. The BBL will run from December 13 to February 4, so there is a major overlap with the two new tournaments that are being launched in South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. Players who have signed for these competitions will likely be available for BBL until late December or early January, with exact details still being worked out. Australian Test players will fill in some of the holes – which is why David Warner’s deal was so important – but not all of them will go away.

So where could the smart choices be?

Most platinum players have restricted availability, but would be worth picking up for the impact they could have. However, the really interesting part of the draft will be in the lower categories. For example, Mohammad Amir has full availability and it is understood could be downgraded to bronze. The same goes for English drummer Matt Parkinson. Also available in silver/bronze is Laurie Evans, who was key to the Scorchers title last season. Other top players with limited availability but available in silver include England trio Hales, Vince and Curran. Jimmy Neesham, Reece Topley, Ollie Pope and Imran Tahir are among others available in money but not for the whole tournament. There could be real value to be had in the bronze category.

Can teams sign substitutes?
Yes, and it could start the day after the draft. Substitutes do not have to belong to the same category as the player they are replacing. Anyone from the draft not picked up on Sunday is eligible as a substitute. This could open up the possibility for players who only have availability towards the end of the tournament to get a gig.

Andrew McGlashan is associate editor at ESPNcricinfo

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