Ten Doeschate Big Bash’s Associate Link
Tasmania signing Ryan ten Doeschate for the Big Bash is a great step forward for the lower ranked nations of the ICC. Jarrod Potter ponders a few others of lesser-known status who are worth a try on Australian pitches.
It is a great selection for Tasmania to pick up Ryan ten Doeschate. Yes yes, I know he was born in South Africa making him another of those that we decry regularly, but let’s not look past what his selection does for Associate cricket. He has an ODI bat average of 68 whilst his first class one is 48. Add to that a litany of wickets and great fielding prowess and you find that he is a great all-round player who should by all means have been greater utilised in T20 club-cricket. His success with Essex stands on its own as well, with his last T20 campaign yielding 296 runs in six matches, averaging 59.20. To my knowledge, he is the first from an Associate country to play in the Big Bash. He also played a big part in that famous Dutch win over England in the 2009 T20 World Cup. What this selection opens up is the idea that Australia isn’t an impenetrable fortress for overseas talent, nor is the gate only open to those from the privilege of the great Test nations, or even from the Test realm itself.
This is an opportunity for the state teams to cash in on skilful players that have been looked over because of the team they play for. There was great effectiveness from players of less international esteem in the 2009-10 Big Bash. Rana al-Naved Hasan proved to be a diligent contributor to the Tasmanian cause; returning 10 wickets, with a best of 3-15 and 79 runs, with a crucial 47 in a 74 run partnership with Travis Birt that rescued Tasmania against Queensland. Rana certainly wasn’t the biggest name in the tournament by a long stretch, but his impact was right up there for import talent. As I mentioned in a previous post about the CLT20′s baffling omission policy, there is a bunch of great players from Zimbabwe and Bangladesh who would make the jump to Australian domestic cricket quite well. It’s also worth adding that there’s a few great gems, besides ten Doeschate, that are there to be found in Associate cricket.
The great thing about selecting these players as well is that their availability is unlikely to be hampered through contracts with other T20 sides. There’s a chance that they will have national duty, but by and large the third-quarter of the year is slim pickings for international tours. This is especially relevant for Victoria and South Australia in this Champion’s League. Each of these sides have had integral parts of their side, Dwayne Bravo, Ross Taylor and Cameron White for VIC, Kieron Pollard and Shahid Afridi for SA, whisked away on the backs of money and bright lights. You won’t have those worries from selecting people from outside the glamour regions of cricket. Instead you get resilient characters who are there just to play cricket. Their cult value for ex-pat communities could also be a boon to attendance figures; pick the right player from the right part of the world to suit your demographic and the end result could easily
So I’ll offer up some more of these players who are well worth looking into by the state teams.
Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan
Iqbal is a fierce hitter, with two blazing Test hundreds against England this year at Old Trafford and Lords. Couple that with a similarly massive-hitting ODI innings and you have the Bangladeshi equivalent of David Warner. Shakib possesses the all-round skills required to succeed in T20. Goes for near enough to 30 in each discipline and has the power hitting necessary for a lower order player.
Brendan Taylor, Elton Chigumbara, Hamilton Masakadza
Three high order, power hitters. Each a fierce whalloper of the ball. Could easily turn a game on its head. I covered these players in further detail in my Zimbabwe returning to Test cricket article.
William Porterfield, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling
Porterfield is proving himself to be an able batsman with every outing. Probably not entirely suited yet to T20, but is slowly making a name for himself with Gloucestershire. Boyd Rankin has already been targetted by the hated English as a Development Player. Hopefully they don’t steal him, as it would take away from Ireland their best strike bowler. 6 foot 8 quicks, who excel at international level, don’t come along every day. Would be a great pick up to supplement the domestic bowling attack for any of the teams. Paul Stirling is another batsman who is pushing Ireland closer to Test status. As I write this, Stirling put together an 177 run ODI innings against Canada. Whilst he is young, his striking is clean and powerful. Could easily have a twenty year career in first class cricket.
Noor Ali Zadran, Mohammad Shahzad, Hamid Hassan
Noor Ali Zadran showed his acumen and skill against India in the 2010 T20 World Cup. Well made 50 with the wickets falling around him highlights great technique. Puts in consistent results to get Afghanistan across the line. At 22 he could still be playing when/if Afghanistan get to Test status (something I heavily believe they will). Mohammad Shahzad is just as young at 19, but has 3 ODI centuries and 3 fifties in 12 innings. 65* his best effort so far in T20Is. 214* is his best in a first class career only 5 games long, leading to a staggering FC average of 92. Clearly Shahzad is the real deal in international cricket and will be a force at the top of the Afghani batting order for years to come. Hamid Hassan is the main strike bowler for Afghanistan and is doing quite well in that endeavour so far. Still young at 23 and is starting to learn the art of bounce and swing bowling. Add to their talent the substantial Afghan communities in Melbourne and Sydney (not sure on the other state capitals, but I assume they also do) and you could attract a whole new market demographic to your games.
Whilst the Australian state teams have mostly confirmed their internationals for the upcoming Big Bash, it is well worth thinking beyond the current recruiting pools in cricket. The ability to gain new fans and create cult figures is something that Australia has been doing well for years, so it isn’t out of the ordinary to think of an Irish or Afghani player walking out onto a field near you soon.
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