BBL: Gillespie a mainstay after Strikers’ ‘little blip’: Head

The Adelaide Strikers’ captain Travis Head says the BBL|12 season was their most disappointing season,’ but he has backed the head coach to continue leading the club. Adelaide Strikers captain Travis Head has backed Jason Gillespie as the right man to lead the club following a disappointing end to their KFC BBL|12 campaign. The Strikers failed to advance to the tournament’s knockout round despite being first in the rankings on December 28 with three victories in their first five games.

BBL12, Disappointing season for Adelaide Strikers

BBL Gillespie a mainstay after Strikers' 'little blip' Head

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A six-wicket loss to the Renegades on Tuesday night ended a run of five consecutive defeats that saw them miss the finals by two points. Gillespie agreed on a two-year deal as South Australia Redbacks coach in early December, rewarding the 71-Test player and his team for a good start to the 2022-23 domestic summer after just one Marsh Sheffield Shield victory in the previous two seasons. However, the Strikers’ form has been much more constant.

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They reached the BBL|11 Challenger final before losing in a last-ball drama as allrounder Hayden Kerr delivered a knock for the ages to pull the undermanned Sixers over the line. It was the club’s third trip to the finals in four seasons, after their inaugural Big Bash triumph in BBL|07 under Gillespie’s leadership. Head called this season a “small hiccup” and said they have a year to figure out why BBL|12 went the way it did. South Australia has had problems in various versions of the game, and that is absolutely unrelated,” he added.

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“We have a whole new group and set of men. “(Gillespie has) clearly held the reins on both, and we’ve been able to put on some very fantastic performances throughout the years while he’s been the Adelaide Strikers’ head coach. “This is most likely the Strikers’ most disastrous season… For a long time, we have been wonderful. “We’ve always mixed things up in the playoffs. Last year, with the run we were able to put together, I believe we were one of the teams that could have defeated the Scorchers.

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“We’ve been incredibly competitive every year, and ‘Dizzy’ (Gillespie) is a staple of that and the reason we’ve been there. “This is one year that hasn’t gone as planned, but I wouldn’t dwell on it too much. I believe we are doing well, and we must ensure that we move up next year and focus on what has to be done.” While the Strikers lost top leg-spinner Rashid Khan and Chris Lynn to other T20 leagues in the second part of the season, they also welcomed back Australian representatives Head and Alex Carey.

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Carey regained his stride after moving from red to white ball with two half-centuries in four innings, while Head struggled after his finest Test summer with only 34 runs and a maximum score of 19 in four knocks for the Strikers. The South Australian club bowled out the Thunder for a world record-low men’s T20 score of 15 then chased down the greatest total in BBL history against the Hurricanes. However, they fell twice to the bottom-placed Melbourne Stars, which proved costly as they missed finals qualifying by one victory.

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“We’d have a terrific batting game and then let ourselves down with the ball, and then we’d have a brilliant bowling day and simply couldn’t get the job done with the bat,” Gillespie said after the Renegades’ season-ending defeat on Tuesday. “It’s a tough pill to chew since we have a really great bunch of guys. “But we simply haven’t been able to find a way to get the job done at important times throughout the season, which is disappointing.”

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Lynn, who scored 416 runs and struck at 141 in 11 games before joining the Gulf Giants in the UAE’s International League T20 tournament, has yet to re-sign for next season, but Gillespie and Head were certain that if he did play in the Big Bash, it would be with the Strikers. “He’s been in regular communication with us; he’s over in the UAE playing for the Gulf Giants, but he’s constantly checking in and wishing the lads luck,” Gillespie said. ”

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He clearly enjoyed his time with us, and he delivered. “I didn’t know Chris very well before he joined the Strikers… I admired not just his cricket expertise and contributions to the squad, but also how he engaged with all of our players, especially a few of our young hitters. “I think the time and effort he put into coaching them and assisting them with their game was fantastic.” Clubs may make list movements until the opening ball of the BBL|12 Final on February 4, when a contractual embargo takes effect.

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The length of the embargo can vary, but it is expected to be lifted mid-year, in time for the finalization of contracting rules for the following season, which will be heavily influenced by ongoing MOU negotiations between Cricket Australia and the players’ union, the Australian Cricketers’ Association.

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