Sydney Sixers and NSW SpeedBlitz Blues all-rounder Steven Smith
The Sydney Sixers have made three key signings overnight with NSW SpeedBlitz Blues squad member, Steve Smith, joining paceman Brett Lee in magenta for BBL|02, along with West Indian spinner, Sunil Narine.
The defending champions were keen to retain the majority of their line-up from last season and the signatures of Lee and Smith certainly bolster their line-up, with Lee, who recently retired from international cricket, spearheading their attack.
Sunil Narine is a strong addition to the Sixers lineup and has the stats and form to back up his signing. Back in March, Narine trouble the Australian ODI team with his variation, taking 4/27 as he bowled the West Indies to a five-wicket victory. He has continued with strong performances against New Zealand with seven wickets in three T20 matches, including a career-best bowling performance of 4/12. In his following five ODI matches, Narine took 13 wickets, and once again turned in a best bowling performance of 5/27.
“We may have started the signing window off slowly but as the Sixers always do, we reel out the big guns when the time is right,” said Sixers GM Stuart Clark.
“We have always said that we wanted to keep together most of the members of our BBL|01 squad and Brett and Steve have been key to that.”
Inaugural captain Smith, who was recently recalled to the Australia One-Day International and preliminary T20 World Cup squads, is confident the Sixers can go back to back.
“The SCG is such a great ground, one of my favourite to play at in the world, and I can’t wait to get back there and play again for the Sixers,” said Smith. “I had a great time leading the boys last year.. this year will be a whole lot of fun again, and we’re obviously hoping to go back to back!”
Along with their announcements overnight, the Sixers also signed BBL|01 members Dominic Thornely and Ian Moran, taking their squad to 14.
Today (July 20) is the final day of the KFC Big Bash League’s initial Player Signings Window. All teams can sign up to 18 players (minimum 14), including up to two from overseas.
Sydney Sixers BBL|02 squad: Brad Haddin, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Josh Lalor, Brett Lee, Nic Maddinson, Ian Moran, Sunil Narine, Stephen O’Keefe, Kurtis Patterson, Steve Smith, Daniel Smith, Mitchell Starc, Dominic Thornely.