Can the Waveriders go back to back for BPL|02? Can they ride the wave to glory again?
Perhaps one of the toughest jobs in BPL would definitely have been the list management team for the Gold Coast Waveriders after the success of BPL|01.
To have 2 teams win the competition who are eligible to pick their 6 retained players from is no easy task. The Waveriders had to deal with knowing that some very talented players from their U19 team were available to pick in their senior squad, but also knowing they could only keep 6 of their championship winning team, a good problem to have you’d think!
The Waveriders chose to retain their full number of players from last year with some very high quality members forming the spine of their squad. Chaudhary coming off his MVP BPL|01 campaign, Hassan Sardar, Addy Grewal, Harry McNeilly, Jackson Smith and Local Hero Chris Knight who missed BPL|01 through injury all come together to make a formidable start to their list.
Add to this, the trade of Dylan Mclachlan from the Western Power and the selection of young superstar from New South Wales Param Uppal add a depth of quality to the reigning champs. Uppal in particular having played first class cricket for NSW, represented Australia in an U19 World Cup and most recently spent time training with the Kings X1 Punjab in the 2022 IPL adds some more star power to an already formidable line up.
Heading into the auction with 5 players left to pick and a possible $3,230,000 in BPL dollars, the Waveriders were sitting pretty. Luckily, they were able to add two more players from their championship winning team in Patty Cotter ($50,000) and Impressive white bowl seamer, Slater Asnicar ($250,000) both finding their way back to the Waveriders without any challenging bids. Perhaps the elephant in the room for most of the night finally showed itself when the Gold Coast Waveriders used their right to match card (ability to outbid a team on a player off their list from last year) on highly rated young Wests fast bowler, Tom Whitney who had multiple suitors at $1.2 million only for the Waveriders to snatch them from the Power, Dingoes and Marlins hands.
Rounding out the Waveriders list brought a mix of experience and youth. Young Australian U19 World Cup representative and highly rated top order batter/keeper Tobias Snell was purchased for $200,000 with the Northern Kings choosing not to use their right to match card after Snell’s time in the Kings U19 squad last year. Relatively unknown quantity in QLD circles is Nathan Muir from Tasmania who was purchased for $50,000 but based on some of the purchases done by the Waveriders last year (Chaudhary at $150,000) don’t be surprised if Muir proves to be a shiny diamond. Finally finishing off the list of the reigning champions, a name not heard for a little while in premier cricket circles, Steen Carlson, picked up for $300,000 after a bidding war between the Waveriders and a few other teams sees the former hard hitting bowling allrounder strap the boots on again and offer his wisdom and experience to a young group of talented players. Could this prove to be the biggest master stroke of them all?
Looking back at this list, do you think that the Waveriders have the quality to match it with the others? Can they go back to back? Or is the target on their back too big to resist?
One thing is for sure, the BPL this year is going to be one absolute spectacle of quality cricket.
Waveriders Player Of The Tournament – Harry McNeilly
BPL Prediction – Chris Knight most wickets for the Waveriders
Under the Radar – Nathan Muir