The ‘epitome of entertainment’ is sometimes how the T20 format of the gentleman’s game is described. The American actor Zachary Levi once said ‘ Entertainment has this way of resetting itself ‘- he couldn’t be more spot on. Loads of T20 cricket is actually being played nowadays, the IPL, the CPL or the Ram Slam, but this league is somehow different. The KFC Big bash T20 league actually is a cult league. Reminiscent of the Kerry Packers’ world super series, the Big Bash puts on display some of the most entertaining T20 cricket of the year.
Having started out as league with the genuine Sheffield teams competing, the Big Bash league has a revamped format and brings out the best of T20. This season of Big Bash saw some great moments, with eye-catching performances and magnificent talent on display. Sydney Thunder emerged victorious but all the sides equally played their part to make this a mega event indeed.
This Islamabad-born lad has lit up this season of the big bash with some special performances for the traditionally struggling Sydney Thunder, who eventually became the champions. Khawaja played a critical role in this second team from Sydney with some nonchalant performances, his scores reading 109,62, 104 and 70 with an astonishing average of 172.5. A stylish left-hander, Khawaja played T20 cricket with utmost composure, playing an array of traditional cricketing shots in his scintillating knocks in this season of the KFC big bash. His magnificent 104 against the Adelaide Strikers came in the Semi-Final of the league where he took on one of the strongest bowling line-ups of the tournament and dispatched them with utmost disdain. He also contributed in the final with a well-made 70 off just 40 balls.
The Big Bash is entertainment, but in the course of its production, the players’ commitment plays a huge role. With high stakes relatively in a Melbourne derby, leg-spinner Adam Zampa, turning out for the Melbourne Stars, ran out Peter Neville of the Melbourne Renegades in style, but not before taking a nasty blow to his nose. Innovation runs high in the Big Bash league and Adam Zampa has just added to that. His incredible act was well acknowledged too. “What an extraordinary run out!” tweeted seasoned commentator Mike Haysman, while former England wicketkeeper Alec Stewart was keen for his beloved Chelsea to get Zampa on their books after heading the ball: “Transfer window is open,” he tweeted, “who will sign up Adam Zampa after that great header to run out Neville.
Who said T20 isn’t for the old? Kallis proved otherwise big time in this year’s big bash and with the ball in some style, facing a daunting task of coming up against one of the best Australian finishers in James Faulkner. Defending just 10 from the last over against the Melbourne Stars, Kallis bowled a near perfect over.”It was good fun, it’s great being in those situations. Fortunately I’ve been in a few so I’ve got experience to fall back on,” Kallis modestly admitted after his stellar over. With 2 dots in the over Kallis conceded just 8 runs in a tight finish at the MCG, as Sydney Thunder won the game by just 1 run. The win almost propelled them upwards and the eventual champions will look back at this game as one of their best in the league.
The Big Bash League almost instantly points out dynamic Australians, and one of them who has been in and around for a while is Chris Lynn. His destructive nature with the bat should almost guarantee a spot for the Brisbane lad in the upcoming ICC World T20. Playing for the Brisbane Heat, Lynn blew the tournament apart with his scintillating play at crease. His 81 off 35 balls against the Melbourne Stars was very special. Lynn took the attack to the bowlers from the word go, and ended up taking them apart. He was merciless against Ben Hilfenhaus, knocking off as many as five sixes in one over and the Brisbane Heat romped home in the end by 56 runs. Another special knock of Lynn came against the Hobart Hurricanes, albeit as part of a loss, as he struck a breath taking 101 of just 51 balls. Lynn was rightly adjudged the player of the Tournament.
There’s almost no T20 without the Gayle factor. This Big Bash season was no less with Gayle pretty much the centre of attention for multiple reasons. However the focus is now on his record-equaling fifty which came off just 12 deliveries against the Adelaide Strikers. Gayle got stuck into the Aussie medium pacer Ben Laughlin, sending him all parts of the ground. It seemed almost inevitable that the record would be equaled or broken in recent times, with even Colin Munro coming really close at the International level. However, who better than Gayle himself to come up with the record as he set the Melbourne park on fire on that starry day.