There will be no rest for at least three of the region’s top cricketers following the September ICC Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.
Off-spinner Sunil Narine, fast-bowler Kemar Roach and batsman Kieran Pollard have gained contracts to play in Australia’s Big Bash Twenty20 League.
Narine has signed for the Sydney Sixers, Kemar Roach will play for the Brisbane Heat and Kieron Pollard will turn out for the Adelaide Strikers this summer. The West Indian trio signed on the final day of the initial contracting period, as all eight teams were required to submit lists of at least 14 players by this afternoon.
However, Cricket Australia granted an extension to the Sydney Thunder, who were unable to finalise two signings by the 5 p.m. deadline and have been given more time to push their numbers up to 14. Teams have until the end of November to top up their squad to 18 players and the Perth Scorchers remain the only side to have named a full 18-man group already.
In other deals today the Sydney Sixers signed Brett Lee, Steven Smith, Dominic Thornely and Ian Moran; the Brisbane Heat signed Peter Forrest and Cameron Gannon; and Darren Pattinson joined the Melbourne Renegades. But the big movements surrounded the three West Indians, with Narine’s signature a major boost for the Sixers after he was the Player of the Tournament in the Indian Premier League this year.
“Sunil is a huge win for us as well and will bring another level of excitement to the team that we know Sixers fans will enjoy,” Stuart Clark, the Sixers general manager, said. Pollard will return to Adelaide after playing for South Australia in the Big Bash in 2009-10 and 2010-11. He was to be part of the Strikers squad last summer but was ruled out due to injury, and this year he will join the captain Johan Botha as the two overseas players this season.
“Coming back to Adelaide has always been on my mind,” Pollard said. “It’s always been a great set-up for me as a cricketer. Last year was obviously frustrating for me so I definitely feel I have some business to take care of. I still know a lot of the guys which is pleasing, and there are some quality players in the line-up.”
Roach will be part of the BBL for the first time and the
Brisbane Heat coach Darren Lehmann said he was expected to be available for five or six matches.
“We are super excited to come to terms with Kemar Roach for BBL02,” Lehmann said. “He’s a great young bloke and while he is still learning the T20 side of things, he’s done well at Test and ODI level and has those raw ingredients of pace and aggression that you want in a fast bowler.
“I think he will be a great addition to the Heat playing list and will certainly give the fans in Brisbane something to talk about when he comes along for the series. All going to plan he will play around five or six games which we expect him to make an impact in.”