It has been an action-packed month or so for the BPL. The lead-up to the auction presented franchises and the league with some different twists with the element of list management and selection a key component that differs from BPL|01 version of the off-season.
Teams had the ability to retain up to 6 players from their list last year, and then an opportunity to trade/purchase players to their roster before the auction began (up to 3 new players traded in), and finally the addition of an interstate selected player as well.
With heavy budgets and smaller places to fill (some teams only 5 spots left) coming into the auction, this meant that budgets and valuations of players may be blown out of the water compared to a cautious and measured approach of BPL|01. Teams knew what they were after and too many people’s excitement at the auction or live online, some of the teams were after similar types of players.
But it’s not always the glitz and glamor of marque players that win you titles. The Gold Coast Waveriders showed this last year. Nikhil Chaudhary took out the BPL MVP and was sold for $250,000. Adam Sommerfield took the league by storm with the Marlins and was purchased for $10,000! This goes to show that there can be some super deals done and great value for players at the other end of the pay scale as well.
For BPL|02 there are going to be another round of Chaudhary’s, some mentioned in this article, and some that aren’t. Each franchise will be sitting back after their auction has been completed with a very happy group of owners and coaches stating “gee we’ve picked them up for nothing!”. It’s not just these players picked that represent the bargain buys, but here are a few that stood out relative to the value on BPL|02 auction night;
- Isaiah Snell – Bayside Pirates
Snell, a top-order wicket-keeper batsman, had a stellar QLD premier cricket campaign. So much so that he had made the team of the year! A last-minute COVID replacement for the Dingoes last year, he averaged 25 with a S/R of 150 in the BPL and amassed 750 runs at 41.67 for Wests this season. At $50,000 the Pirates have found an absolute steal there!
- Michael Hart – Moreton Magic
A tall, rangy young fast bowler from the West. Michael had a stellar year for his grade club Subiaco – Floreat DCC culminating in bowling his side to victory in the 2-day GF. His magical figures of 7/47 restricted South Perth and defended a measly 118 to win. With 36 wickets for the year, he finished 4th in the WACA leading wicket-takers for the year. Again, another $50,000 bargain buy, can Hart bring his form over from the west and dominate the Century like he did WACA grade cricket this year?
- Damien Ravu – Bayside Pirates
The Bayside Pirates bring an international flavor this year to BPL|02 having locked away 2 x Papua New Guinea Internationals and also an Indian first-class cricketer. Ravu is one of these pickups. To have a player play an active part in their most recent T20 World Cup with several years of international cricket under their belt might prove to be a bargain at $150,000! 14 wickets in 11 T20 Internationals is unreal and a great player to have showcasing their talent in the Century this year.
- Cameron Boyce – Northern Kings
A household name in professional cricket around Australia. Former T20 international bowler and most recently as last year taking 5 fa (including a double hat trick in a BBL game) is an exceptional pick up by the Kings. With over 100 professional T20 wickets Boyce will be one of the highest-ranked players coming into the Century. You look at his price tag of $500k and think “how is he on this list!?” but in reality, with players going for over $1.5 million in the auction this year, $500k could prove to be an absolute steal for Boycey.
So there you have it! Not the only bargain buys that will come out of BPL|02 we are sure, and potentially these may end up proving to hit the heights that some opinions may predict this season, but it’s great to see that so many quality players are putting their name in the ring to play in a concept like this and we cannot wait to watch everyone in action!