Homegrown talent trumped some of the best T20 players from around the world in an Australian-only Big Bash team of the tournament.
The 12-man team was headlined by Australian star Steve Smith, who only played five games but his impact was profound enough to join a team that didn’t include a single overseas player.
Australian T20 captain Aaron Finch was included after his BBL resurrection for the Melbourne Renegades, with breakthrough spinner Paddy Dooley named after playing a starring role for the Hobart Hurricanes.
But despite leading the run-scoring for most of the tournament, Chris Lynn only just snuck into the team, voted for by coaches who were asked to pick their best XI from the regular season.
Smith, player of the tournament Matt Short and all-rounder Aaron Hardie, who was touted by former Australian captain Ricky Ponting as a potential Test bolter during the summer, all registered eight votes, the most of any player.
Lynn, who crossed to the Adelaide Strikers after 11 years with the Brisbane Heat, was the BBL’s highest run-scorer this season before he left for the new T20 league in the United Arab Emirates.
He still finished fourth on the run-scorers’ list with 416, including three half-centuries in his 11 games, but only registered three votes from the coaches.
The absence of any international players from the team of the tournament was an indication of their limited impact, and appearances, despite the staging of the inaugural player draft last year.
Melbourne Renegades coach David Saker last week that most BBL coaches were not fans of the draft and some international players were prepared to skip the tournament if they couldn’t sign with their preferred clubs.
Brisbane Heat chairman Ian Healy also declared it was time for Cricket Australia to “open up January” for the BBL, having seen the impact of Smith and David Warner in their limited appearances for the Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder respectively.
“Can you imagine the BCCI staging their IPL without their Indian star players?” Healy told SEN on Wednesday.
“Everyone now feels the real value of having our nation’s best players playing and mentoring at this level, it takes it to another level.
“It must become a priority of our summer to clear January for what we’re all witnessing currently, what Steve Smith and David Warner put into the competition of recent times … everyone feels how important it should be.”
Smith’s Sixers teammate Jordan Silk said the former Australian skipper’s five-game cameo, which yielded 346 runs, including two centuries at a blistering strike rate of 174.74, was unbelievable.
“That was some of the most incredible batting I think we’ll ever see in Big Bash cricket in that four or five-game stretch,” he said.
The Sixers will take on the Heat on Thursday for a spot in Saturday’s BBL final against the Perth Scorchers.
BBL TEAM OF THE TOURNAMENT
Matthew Short (Adelaide Strikers)
Steve Smith (Sydney Sixers)
Aaron Hardie (Perth Scorchers)
Aaron Finch (c) (Melbourne Renegades)
Josh Inglis (wk) (Perth Scorchers)
Tim David (Hobart Hurricanes)
Michael Neser (Brisbane Heat)
Sean Abbott (Sydney Sixers)
Andrew Tye (Perth Scorchers)
Tom Rogers (Melbourne Renegades)
Paddy Dooley (Hobart Hurricanes)
Chris Lynn (Adelaide Strikers)
Shardul Thakur is not called 'Lord' for nothing. He somehow has the ability to make things happen when it is least expected. Want proof? Remember his partner
Australian allrounder Cameron Green has taken one of cricket’s great catches with a stunning effort against India in the World Test Championship final on Frid
Disney’s Hotstar will offer free streaming of cricket tournaments to mobile users in India, following Reliance’s JioCinema compar
The Ashes is the biggest series in test cricket. Friday, June 16 marks the start of what is arguably the biggest series in test cricket, The Ashes. Every t