YORKSHIRE’s Tim Bresnan is set to play in Australia’s Twenty20 Big Bash League.
The Yorkshire Post understands that the pace bowler is poised to join Tasmanian franchise Hobart Hurricanes.
The deal is thought to be dependent on whether Hobart’s Darren Sammy is named in West Indies’ final World Cup squad.
Sammy has been named in West Indies’ provisional 30-man party for the tournament in Australia and New Zealand in February and March, which must be halved to 15 players by January 7.
Sammy, the 30-year-old all-rounder, has managed only one half-century and four wickets in his last 10 one-day internationals. But he played in West Indies’ last ODI series in India before it was cut short when the tourists went on strike due to a contractual dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board.
Bresnan, who was last week named in England’s provisional 30-man World Cup squad, is less likely at this stage to feature in the World Cup as he battles to end an international exile dating back to March. But he is not completely out of the running.
Should Bresnan not make the final World Cup squad, or indeed that for the preceding tri-series against Australia and India in Australia next month, he would be well-placed in Hobart to cover for any injuries that might arise in the England camp.
The Pontefract-born player, who turns 30 in February, is also a firm part of England’s T20 plans – as evidenced by his call-up for the match against India at Edgbaston in September, when he was forced to withdraw through injury.
A spell in the Big Bash could only help him in that regard, while he would be an attractive replacement from Hobart’s perspective, offering not only the promise of a low economy rate but also useful late-order runs.
He also has much experience of Australian conditions, not least when helping England win the Ashes in 2010-11.
Bresnan, who last summer helped Yorkshire to their first County Championship title for 13 years, would probably replace Sammy for the last four of Hobart’s eight group games, along with any semi-final/final. The Big Bash starts on December 18 and runs until January 28, with Bresnan’s first outing likely to be against Aaron Finch’s Melbourne Renegades on January 7 at Hobart’s home venue of Blundstone Arena, Bellerive.
Hobart reached the final of last year’s Big Bash only to lose by 39 runs to Perth Scorchers. Bresnan would link-up with a Hurricanes’ squad that includes former Australia T20 captain George Bailey and also England’s Alex Hales, although Hales’s availability is up in the air due to the tri-series/World Cup.
The fourth edition of the Big Bash, sponsored by KFC, once again features eight franchises – Adelaide Strikers, Brisbane Heat, Hobart Hurricanes, Melbourne Renegades, Melbourne Stars, Perth Scorchers, Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder. The squads include a number of players who have graced English cricket in recent years.
Bresnan’s former Yorkshire team-mates Michael Lumb and Mitchell Starc are with Sydney Sixers; Kevin Pietersen, Luke Wright and former Yorkshire pace bowler Clint McKay are with Melbourne Stars; Eoin Morgan and Craig Kieswetter are with Sydney Thunder; Michael Carberry, Adam Voges and Yasir Arafat are with Perth Scorchers, while Finch, as previously stated, is with the Renegades. Ex-Lancashire and England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff will play for Brisbane Heat in the latter stages.
Bresnan would not be the only current Yorkshire player to have experienced the razzmatazz of Australia’s T20 tournament. Leg-spinner Adil Rashid was part of the South Australia franchise that won the event in 2010-11, defeating a New South Wales team that included ex-Yorkshire batsman Phil Jaques.
Rashid took 10 wickets in seven games at 14 to play a major part in his side’s success. He also represented South Australia at the 2011-12 T20 Champions League.
Another of Yorkshire’s recent playing staff with a strong T20 pedigree is Kane Williamson, who was last week appointed New Zealand’s T20/one-day captain for the ongoing games against Pakistan in the UAE.
After drawing the T20 series 1-1, Williamson’s side lost the first of five one-day internationals on Monday, but there was better news for him yesterday when he was given the green light by the International Cricket Council to resume bowling after being banned for having an illegal action.
Williamson, a part-time off-spinner, was reported during New Zealand’s tour of West Indies last summer when it was found that his elbow extension exceeded the 15 degrees permitted under ICC rules.
Sachithra Senanayake, the Sri Lanka off-spinner, was also cleared to bowl again yesterday, having been reported during last summer’s ODI series in England.