Every year the new generation of T20 cricketers stamp their mark on the Big Bash — and BBL12 will be no different.
From an unknown Sixers recruit, to a Scorchers all-rounder on the rise, there is set to be some fireworks produced by the competition’s up-and-coming stars.
Throw in the mix several spearhead fast bowlers and this year’s edition of Australia’s premier T20 tournament is sure to deliver when it kicks off on Tuesday, December 13.
Here are the 10 young guns to watch out for in BBL12!
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TODD MURPHY — SIXERS
Todd Murphy’s rise has been nothing short of spectacular and after only two Sheffield Shield appearances the off-spinner went on the Australia A tour of Sri Lanka in June.
In his first innings, Murphy took 4/67 and most recently took 3/27 in the first innings for the Australian Prime Minister’s XI against the West Indies.
The 22-year-old has played six first class games and four BBL games for the Sixers, having only managed to take a single wicket.
Murphy could be behind experienced spinner Steve O’Keefe and 19-year-old draft pick Izharulhaq Naveed – but look out for him once he is thrown the ball.
AARON HARDIE — SCORCHERS
Aaron Hardie has already featured for the Scorchers 28 times, but after a breakthrough season, the 23-year-old is one to watch this tournament.
Hardie scored an unbeaten 174 in the Sheffield Shield final to steer Western Australia to victory and his confidence will be at an all-time high coming into BBL12.
The tall right-hand seamer is set to make the No.6 position his own in this tournament, and scored 115 runs in eight innings last season.
With the ball he took three wickets across his three spells and will be hoping to bowl more for the Perth side.
Naturally, comparisons will be drawn with his fellow statesman and current Test all-rounder Cameron Green — and Hardie also has ambitions to don the baggy green.
“Test cricket is the goal, it is the boyhood dream and I’d love to be able to get there,” Hardie told foxsports.com.au.
“Cam and I played in every underage tournament possible together, so there is proof you can fit both of us in.”
THOMAS KELLY — STRIKERS
Thomas Kelly made his debut in BBL11 and went on to play 15 games, batting in 12 and scoring 214 runs at an average of 21.40.
The 21-year-old made his first class debut in March earlier this year and is yet to score a half century in two appearances.
While Kelly hasn’t set the cricketing world on fire, his batting partners will likely assist him through the Strikers innings.
Kelly is set to bat in the middle order around Colin De Grandhomme and Adam Hose – both experienced T20 batsmen who can anchor the Strikers batting attack.
IZHARULHAQ NAVEED — SIXERS
The Sixers took Izharulhaq Naveed with their Bronze pick in the BBL draft, shocking many cricketing pundits.
The 19-year-old is a largely unknown commodity and played for Afghanistan’s Under 19s side at the World Cup.
At that tournament he took the 15th most wickets with 10, and recently featured for the New York Strikers in the Abu Dhabi T10 league, taking 1/9 off his singular over.
Naveed is so much of a “mystery”, even his teammate Josh Phillipe didn’t know much about him.
“I actually don’t know a lot about him unfortunately, I am sure there is some mystery to him and hopefully it works in our favour,” Phillipe told foxsports.com.au.
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WILL PRESTWIDGE — HEAT
Will Prestwidge has only played three games for the Heat, after being drafted into their squad to replace the injured Matt Willans last season.
The 20-year-old is the third member of his family to play for the Brisbane franchise after both brother Jack and sister Georgia held contracts with the Heat.
Prestwidge earned his contract for the BBL12 season after impressing for Norths in Queensland’s KFC T20 Max competition, where he was one of the standout quicks.
The fast bowler impressed in his short BBL stint, taking four wickets in three games and will be looking to take more poles this season.
SPENCER JOHNSON — HEAT
While Johnson is the oldest player on this list at 26, he is yet to feature in the BBL and made his debut for the Redbacks in the One Day competition in March.
Johnson was handed a two-year deal by the Heat ahead of BBL 12 after playing in Queensland’s T20 Max competition, performing well with the best economy rate of any pace bowler at only 5.
The Heat have a strong pace attack including Mark Steketee, Xavier Bartlett, Michael Neser and James Bazley, meaning Johnson may struggle to break into the side.
WIL PARKER — HURRICANES
Wil Parker was the fourth youngest player to make their first-class debut when he played for Victoria in February 2020.
The 20-year-old has only played four first class games to date and has played seven games for the Hurricanes, signing a one-year extension ahead of BBL12.
During BBL11 Parker fell victim to the new ‘X-factor’ rule and was often subbed off the field.
The leg-spinner has taken one wicket across his five innings of bowling and could slot into the side to partner D’Arcy Short as the Hurricanes spin attack.
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JAKE FRASER-MCGURK — RENEGADES
While Fraser-McGurk has already shown his clean ball-striking ability, it is easy to forget he is only 20-year-old.
Fraser-McGurk has played 19 BBL games, scoring 239 at an average of 15.93, failing to set the BBL alight in his short career.
Despite his struggles thus far, Renegades head coach David Saker labelled him the “most exciting cricket he has seen in a long time” prior to BBL11.
The gun batsmen could be squeezed out of the Renegades side after Jono Wells was signed and may struggle for gametime once Andre Russell departs and Martin Guptill comes into the team in game five.
CAMPBELL KELLAWAY — STARS
Campbell Kellaway signed a one-year deal with the Stars, becoming the final player in the Melbourne side’s 18-man squad.
The 20-year-old was a standout performer for Australia in the Under 19s World Cup, scoring 239 runs to sit 10th on the overall leaderboard.
Kellaway made his First Class debut for Victoria on November 24 to go with a One Day appearance only nine days earlier.
While the young batsmen may find it hard to break into the Stars stacked batting line-up, he will be sure to grab his opportunity with both hands if he slots into the side.
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CAM MCCLURE — STARS
A bustling fast bowler, young gun Cameron McClure was handed a senior contract with Victoria in March this year.
The 21-year-old has taken 11 wickets his five First Class games, averaging 34.18 with best figures of 3.53.
McClure has also taken four wickets in the One Day competition and could be a fast-bowling option for the Stars should one of Brody Couch, Luke Wood, Trent Boult or Liam Coulter-Nile not feature.