And so we come to our favourite part of the year, the lead up to the Big Bash, when we can write long, waffling articles heaping mountains of praise upon it. Articles which absolutely nobody will read. Because if you are already interested in the Big Bash you wouldn’t be looking at our site, and if you weren’t, you are probably wondering why a site with a .co.uk domain increasingly writes more about Australian cricket than it does English. Honestly, it’s a mystery to us too.
But the Big Bash yeah? Bloody awesome. After a somewhat shaky start, the Big Bash is now going from strength to strength. The length of the season is pretty much bang on, it’s on free-to-air and the plethora of hopeless English imports, like Ravi Bopara, Chris Tremlett and Matt Prior, have been sent packing. It just keeps getting better really. And here to run the rule over season 2015/6 are two of the Big Bash’s most passionate supporters. Just behind Michael Clarke that is, who despite constantly praising the competition, somehow keeps finding excuses to never bother actually playing in it.
Aussie Matt: To get the boring stuff out of the way early doors: will any team challenge the Sydney Thunder’s mantle of Worst Sporting Franchise of All Time? And can anyone knock the Perth Scorchers off their lofty perch?
Nichael Bluth: It’s basically a straight shootout between the Thunder and Aston Villa for that particular title these days and the signing of Watto for the former isn’t going to change that, despite the best efforts of Jack Grealish’s local pub. And the law of averages suggests that the Scorchers are surely due a duff year. Western Australia were pretty atrocious in the BBQ Cup earlier in the season so I’m predicting a group stage exit, with the fans ripping up the WACA in the process. Or possibly it just collapsing by itself.
AM: Watching on the telly, the hill at the WACA during Scorchers games looks like something out of a Hieronymus Bosch painting. Is it really that feral?
NB: It’s feraller than a hog who’s just been appointed Professor of Feral at Edith Cowan University.
AM: For what it’s worth I think Perth will be there or thereabouts. Joel Paris is the biggest next big thing since Steven Peter Devereux Smith. And Mitchell Johnson will surely be persuaded to play a game or two (or not, as it turns out). I actually think the Thunder won’t be that bad, and my tip is that the Adelaide Strikers, with Pollard out injured, will be at the bottom of the pile. On the subject of which, which of the English imports out of Rashid, Willey, Lumb and Wright will perform the best? Or will KP reign supreme and rule o’er all?
NB: God I hope not.
I’d love to say Rashid, but I think he’s going to get carted around quite a bit, so I’m going to big up David Willey – he bats! He bowls! His name is great for headlines! – instead. Although messers Lumb and Wright will probably do okay, seeing as they’re part of the Big Bash furniture.
AM: I agree on both Rashid and Willey. I think Willey will do well, but Rashid may get hammered and bring the whole Gillespie experiment at Adelaide crashing down with him. But I disagree on KP. Would love to see him dominate, if only because of the seething it would generate.
Any other potential highlights you’d like to point out? Shane Watson/Usman Khawaja inevitably getting injured whilst playing for the Sydney Thunder perhaps? Devereux’s star turn for the Sydney Sixers? Chris Gayle generally looking like he couldn’t give a shit? Or Andrew Flintoff trying his “look at me, I’m such a lad” shtick full-time in the commentary box?
NB: Having missed most of the season last year – having to unfortunately spend a tough month on holiday in America – I’m just really looking forward to the rhythm of the Big Bash, with games on terrestrial TV every evening. That and laughing at KP every single time he fails, the massive doos.
AM: There’s a few things I’m particularly looking forward to: Jackson Bird at the Sixers, Chris Lynn going ballistic and hopefully Moises Henriques and Michael Klinger forcing their way into the national T20 squad ahead of the World Cup. Now that they’ve finally bothered scheduling the bloody thing. Although, as always, the main highlight will be Glenn Maxwell doing at least one monumentally stupid thing at some point during the tournament.
One final question, which needs to be approached carefully in respect to the ongoing AVO that has been taken out against us by one of its most prominent participants, but how do you think the Women’s Big Bash will fare?
NB: You mean the Ellyse Perry show? I’m looking forward to it, mainly because it will feature Ellyse Perry running about and stuff. I will – of course – be enjoying it from the appropriate distance, in line with the previously mentioned AVO. I think it’s important that we make that abundantly clear.
AM: Yeah, I think it will be a big success as well, although I assumed they would be playing games from each tournament one after the other, which is the case for a few games, but a lot of the Women’s Big Bash seems to be played at separate time slots, at completely different locations. Perhaps that’s just to keep reprobates like us away. For those games that are back to back though, I expect there will be big crowds. Because why not turn up early and watch both?
And that sums up another giddy intro article for yet another season of Big Bash action. We’ll probably be giving our uninformed opinion on twitter, @51allout, over the duration, especially whenever Glenn Maxwell is in with a chance of doing something stupid, and will generally be basking in the reflected glory of what is almost certainly the biggest and best domestic T20 competition in the world that is not run by shameless kleptocrats.