Eleven New South Wales’ Blues have been named in the Sydney Sixers and Thunder squads for the opening game of the KFC Big Bash League at Spotless Stadium this Tuesday night.
The Sixers’ have the stronger representation with eight Blues’ included in their squad for the first of the two Sydney Smash matches for BBL 07; Blues’ captain Moises Henriques, Sean Abbott, Doug Bollinger, Harry Conway, Daniel Hughes, Nic Maddinson, Steve O’Keefe and Peter Nevill.
Nevill returns to the Sixers after spending the last four seasons with the Melbourne Renegades. Harry Conway also joins the men in magenta for his first season.
Henriques, Hughes and Abbott in particular will be strike weapons for the Sixers with both bat and ball.
Henriques is one of the more damaging T20 all-rounders in the world with a wealth of experience now under his belt. The Sixers’ skipper has played 170 Twenty20 matches all around the globe amassing 3,165 runs and taking 105 wickets.
During BBL 06, Henriques was most prominent with the bat for the Sixers scoring 263 runs at a belligerent strike rate of 142.16. Daniel Hughes bettered that in terms of runs scored for the club collecting 304 runs at 43.42 with a highest score of 85 from 55 balls against the Brisbane Heat at the Gabba.
Sean Abbott led the wicket takers throughout BBL 06 claiming 20 wickets at an average of 16.15. His best figures coming against the Adelaide Strikers at Adelaide Oval where he took 5-16.
Three Blues are included in the Sydney Thunder squad for the Sydney Smash; batsmen Ryan Gibson and Kurtis Patterson as well as spinner Arjun Nair.
Patterson top scored in the last outing against the Sixers at the SCG where he compiled 38 not out from 26 balls faced in the eight wicket win for the Thunder.
Ryan Gibson is in his second season with the Thunder and certainly enjoyed his last match against the Sixers at Spotless Stadium last December. The Penrith batsman scored 53 from 43 deliveries opening the innings with Patterson in what turned out to be a nine wicket loss for the Thunder.
Henriques and Hughes scored 76 not out and 54 not out respectively in that match to get the Sixers comfortably over the line.
Nair is also in his second season with the club and will be looking to make the most of his creative variations during BBL 07.
The Sydney Smash starts at 7.45pm at Spotless Stadium on Tuesday night.