To celebrate yet another season of the Big Bash and to get you into the spirit of things, we are looking at the greatest players who have appeared in the BBL across 7 seasons so far. From cricket’s biggest names to some T20 specialists, we’re pretty confident this XI could match it with any out there.
1 Chris Gayle
You’d be surprised to not find this guy’s name on any T20 world XI’s and for good reason. The larger than life Gayle took the BBL by storm in a stint lasting from 2011-2016. He drew huge crowds every time he played and tallied up some enormous numbers. He is 5th all time in sixes hit in the Big Bash and played a huge part in helping the competition grow into the powerhouse it is today.
2 Brendon McCullum
The Ex Kiwi skipper is renowned across the world for being a monster hitter of the ball. His form in the Big Bash has been no exception with McCullum providing his fair share of crowd catches over the years. The loyal Brisbane Heat player has a T20 career strike rate of over 130 and would squeeze his way into most T20 squads around the world!
3 Darcy Short
Short can thank the Big Bash for helping him burst onto the scene last season leading to an international call up. The strong left-hander had a historic year for the Hurricanes in 2017-18 belting bowlers around for fun. 12 innings at an average of 55 and strike rate 148 says it all.
4 Ricky Ponting (c)
Arguably Australia’s greatest ever batsmen graced the BBL for a couple of seasons playing for the Hobart Hurricanes. With over 26,000 test and ODI runs combined, Punter could adapt his style of play to any format. As the skipper of this side, his cricket IQ will help this team defend any total with setting fields for all situations.
5 Michael Hussey
I’d be crazy to keep Mr Cricket himself out of this XI. He was one of the most dominant middle-order batsmen Australia had seen. Known for his ability to close out at innings, Hussey’s time for the Sydney Thunder was successful. He captained the side form 2013-2016 and helped lead them to their first finals appearance. You wouldn’t want anyone else coming in late in the innings to finish a run chase.
6 Jacques Kallis
Who better to fill our all-rounder spot than the greatest ever. Kallis has the ability to bat anywhere in the order and bowl at any stage in a match. His record speaks for itself and is a genuine match winner. It could be argued he has been the best international player to feature in this tournament.
7 Jos Buttler(wk)
Our wicket keeper spot is filled by the powerhouse Englishman who thrives in the limited overs format. Buttler amassed over 200 runs in the most recent season of the big bash at a tidy average of 33. With the ability to play a 360 degree range of shots, he is a nightmare for opposition bowlers.
8 Mitchell Johnson
In his prime, one of the scariest bowlers in the world and certainly didn’t hold back when he pulled on the Perth Scorchers colours either. Johnson’s combination of raw pace and swing made him a deadly acquisition to the Scorchers team. With a BBL economy rate of just over 6 he slots into this XI no questions asked. No stranger to hitting a long ball either.
9 Shane Warne
Not sure I need to say much about Warney. Arguably the greatest to ever do it and a shoe-in for most ‘All-Time XI’ sides. He played in the inagural season for the Melbourne Stars and produced some awesome performances. None more so than when he commentated and predicted his own wicket of Brendan McCullum (see video below). A genius with the ball in his hand.
10 Brett Lee
Binga was the face of the Big Bash in the early years, donning the magenta of the Sydney Sixers from 2011-2015. We all know the frightening pace which Lee bowled at and this was still on show even towards the end of his career. Throw him the new ball with Mitchell Johnson and this XI is looking awfully scary.
11 Lasith Malinga
The Sri Lankan speedster rounds out this all time XI. In his prime Malinga was recognised as one of the best T20 bowlers in the world. He brought his A-game to the BBL and still holds the best bowling figures in the tournament’s history (6-7).