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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Ruthven

BBL finals fall victim to ILT20 player mass exodus

Assistant Adelaide Strikers coach Ryan Harris says the BBL draft system needs re-evaluation following the ILT20 player mass exodus ahead of finals.

The Strikers will face the Perth Scorchers on Saturday night without several overseas players and big names including Chris Lynn, Adam Hose and Jamie Overton.

Other finalists have fallen victim to the ITL20 mass exodus, with the Scorchers losing power-hitter Laurie Evans before the do-or-die clash. Earlier, the Scorchers lost Zak Crawley due to England duties. 

The United Arab Emirates-based league commences on January 19, the same day as the first BBL final.

Ryan Harris told SportFM it boils down to the recently introduced Big Bash draft system and the uncertainty it brings to players. 

“The theory that I've come up with, and I've been speaking to our overseas players is around the draft,” said Harris.

“If they knew they were coming and they had a spot nailed, they'd not have to worry about the draft. They can then say to the other T20 leagues, I'm definitely going to Australia, I'm definitely going to be there for 14 games. I'm going to be late for the other T20 leagues.” 

“At the moment with the draft, the way that a couple of players described to me is that they have to make their availability before the draft. They have to nail down their opportunities. 

“They can't necessarily go, now I'm not coming and then go to the draft and not get picked up by anyone in the draft and then they haven't got anywhere to play. So that's something I think we need to look at.”

Some have suggested the length of the season may be a factor, with this season being reduced to 44 games. 

Harris believes that the season doesn’t run too long and that it should have remained a 14 game season, with more games crammed to retain the international signings in finals. 

“Each team should play each other home and away. That's what I think a proper competition is. I still think we can cram it in a bit more,” he said.  

“Obviously this year was a bit different with the Perth test when it was and we had that 10-day break. I think we could definitely cram more games in back-to-back days. It happens in the IPL, and no one complains about it, so there's no reason why we can't do that.

“Teams have worked so hard and our overseas players have been so good for us,  as has Laurie Evans and the Scorchers players. 

“You get to this point in time at a season where the crucial games, everything you work for and build up for then, ‘we'll see you later, boys. We'll see you next year, hopefully.’ It just doesn't sit right with me.” 

IMAGE: The West Australian

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