Ashes stars Harry Brook and Zak Crawley headline a host of English players unveiled as the latest nominations for the upcoming BBL draft but England’s Test tour of India in January, as well as clarity over the ILT20 dates means clubs will have some decisions to make as to whether to recruit the biggest names or those with the most availability.
Brook, Crawley, Ollie Pope, Will Jacks and Dan Lawrence have all nominated for the draft which is set for September 3. However it remains to be seen how much of the BBL season they will be available for given all will be in line to tour India with England’s Test team in January 2024 with the first Test of a five-Test series starting on January 25 in Hyderabad.
Exciting England tearaway Gus Atkinson has also nominated for the BBL draft. He is yet to be called up to England’s Test side but is poised to make his England limited-overs debut next month and is in their World Cup squad.
The BBL final will be held on January 24 and the final home and away game of the streamlined 10-game season finishes on January 17. The other key development for BBL clubs came with the announcement of the ILT20 dates for next year with that tournament to begin on January 19 in the UAE.
With South Africa’s T20 league starting on January 10 clubs may favour drafting players who have also committed to the ILT20 as opposed to those who will go to South Africa given they are likely to be available for almost all of the home and away season.
Englishmen Dawid Malan and Tom Banton and New Zealander Jimmy Neesham were among the latest names who have nominated for the BBL draft but have already committed to South Africa. Clubs are more likely to be interested in the likes of Sam Billings, Joe Clarke, James Vince, Tom Curran, David Willey, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Martin Guptill and Atkinson who have all committed to the ILT20.
A number of players will be available as retention picks including Crawley (Hurricanes), Billings (Heat), Clarke (Stars), Vince (Sixers), Curran (Sixers), Banton (Heat) and Willey (Thunder) even though he withdrew last year after being drafted. Players who were drafted last year but did not play are eligible to be retained by that club. Willey played 27 games for Perth Scorchers between 2015 and 2019 but is not eligible to be a retention pick for Scorchers as he was drafted by Thunder last year.
Brook, Lawrence, Jacks, and Malan have all played in the BBL previously but do not fit the criteria to be retained as they did not play for a minimum of two seasons with a club previously after not playing last season.
In the WBBL, South Africa star Marizanne Kapp has confirmed she will return to the WBBL leaving Scorchers with a massive decision to make over their lone WBBL retention pick. Scorchers need to choose between two of the best allrounders in the world in Kapp and Sophie Devine.
Kapp was outstanding for Scorchers in her last two seasons but Devine is a two-time WBBL player of the year and Scorchers captain. Devine has also been involved in Western Australia’s WNCL team which is closely linked to the Scorchers program, making the decision even more difficult.
Laura Wolvaardt looks destined to be a retention pick for defending champions Adelaide Strikers but Dane van Niekerk is not eligible as a retention pick after missing last year’s tournament, having previously played for Strikers, Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Renegades.
England: Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Bell, Alice Capsey, Kate Cross, Freya Davies, Sophie Ecclestone, Sarah Glenn, Heather Knight, Emma Lamb, Katie Levick, Lauren Winfield-Hill, Mady Villiers, Lauren Winfield-Hill, Issy Wong, Danielle Wyatt
New Zealand: Sophie Devine, Kate Ebrahim, Hayley Jensen, Fran Jonas, Jess Kerr
Pakistan: Fatima Sana
South Africa: Suné Luus, Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kapp, Laura Wolvaardt, Dane van Niekerk, Chloe Tryon, Nadine de Klerk, Anneke Bosch, Tazmin Brits
Sri Lanka: Chamari Athapaththu
West Indies: Hayley Matthews, Karishma Ramharack
Afghanistan: Shafiqullah Ghafari, Izharulhaq Naveed, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
England: Rehan Ahmed, Gus Atkinson, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Harry Brook, Joe Clarke, Zak Crawley, Tom Curran, Laurie Evans, Richard Gleeson, Alex Hales, Will Jacks, Chris Jordan, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Dan Lawrence, Dawid Malan, Tymal Mills, Callum Parkinson, Matt Parkinson, Ollie Pope, David Payne, Matt Potts, Olly Stone, Josh Tongue, Reece Topley, James Vince, David Willey, Luke Wood, Dan Worrall
Ireland: Josh Little
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham
South Africa: Marchant de Lange, Faf du Plessis, Beuran Hendricks, Wayne Parnell, Rilee Rossouw, Tabraiz Shamsi, Imran Tahir
Sri Lanka: Lakshan Sandakan
West Indies: Joshua Bishop, Sheldon Cottrell, Akeal Hosein, Nicholas Pooran, Jayden Seales, Ramon Simmonds
Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo