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Rashid Khan, Harry Brook, Quinton De Kock and Tom Curran headline list of overseas BBL players

Melbourne, Sep 3 (IANS) Rashid Khan, Harry Brook, Quinton De Kock and Tom Curran headline a list of 21 overseas players selected in the second edition of the BBL overseas draft. Sunday’s draft saw 374 players from 29 countries put their names forward for selection in eight squads ahead of BBL season 13.

Round one was full of excitement and key retention picks, with seven Clubs selecting Platinum players. Melbourne Stars attempted to use their first pick to recruit Rashid, the world’s best T20 bowler, from the Adelaide Strikers, before he was retained for a seventh straight season by the club in blue.

“I wouldn’t have been allowed back into South Australia (if we didn’t pick Rashid). It was a no-brainer for us. For any team, if Rash is available you would look to pick him… he is the best spinner in the world,” said Jason Gillespie, Strikers’ head coach, on buying back Rashid.

In-form young England batter Harry Brook was then selected and will call the Melbourne Stars home, instead of Hobart Hurricanes. The Sydney Sixers used their retention pick to stop the Hurricanes’ attempt to take Tom Curran at pick three before the Hurricanes picked up his England team-mate Chris Jordan.

South African wicketkeeper/batter Quinton De Kock will make his first appearance in the BBL this summer after being selected by the Melbourne Renegades. The Big Bash’s leading overseas run scorers, Alex Hales (Sydney Thunder) and Colin Munro (Brisbane Heat) were also taken in the opening round. Perth Scorchers once again passed on their round-one selection.

Subsequent rounds saw Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf returning to the Melbourne Stars for a fourth season with the Club alongside leg-spinner Usama Mir, while Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Renegades), James Vince (Sixers) and Sam Billings (Brisbane Heat) were all selected by their clubs from last year.

England opening batter Zak Crawley’s return to the competition will see him in new colours at the Perth Scorchers alongside Laurie Evans, while Strikers took all-rounder Jamie Overton, who was men’s Hundred player of the tournament this year, as well as top-order batter Adam Hose.

“Jamie is a big-hitting middle-order player who can bowl quickly and is good in the field. He compliments our list, We’re really comfortable with our top-order batting, we just think some power in the middle (to add to top-order players) D’Arcy Short, Chris Lynn, Jake Weatherald and Matt Short (makes) this a good fit for us,” added Gillespie on acquiring Overton.

Talking of Hose, who scored 312 runs at a strike rate of 127.86 for the Strikers in his maiden BBL season last year, Gillespie said, “He learned a lot from last year and played some match-winning innings, he contributed to a number of victories for us last year and he’ll be an even better player for us going into the next BBL.”

England batter Sam Hain was picked by the Hurricanes while young leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed will turn out for the Sixers.

The season ahead will also welcome exciting newcomers, Pakistan pacer Zaman Khan, England’s Paul Walter and USA’s Corey Anderson, who will all have their first taste of the BBL this summer, starting from December 7.

“The second KFC BBL Draft brought lots of action with some huge new names joining the competition, fan favourites returning to Clubs, as well as some big moves with several players set to call a new Club home for the season ahead.”

“We’d like to congratulate all Clubs on their recruitment and look forward to seeing the players put on a show for all fans in BBL|13,” said Alistair Dobson, Cricket Australia’s General Manager, Big Bash Leagues.

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