2022/23 BBL Club Preview – Melbourne Stars
THE Melbourne Stars will be looking to cover for the loss of injured skipper Glenn Maxwell on the eve of the upcoming Big Bash League (BBL) season, with the star set to leave a gaping hole in the team’s roster.
After missing the finals in agonising fashion last season, the Stars loaded up in the inaugural BBL draft a few months ago, and looked set to make another charge into the postseason in BBL|12. However, Maxwell broke his leg in a freak accident and looks set to miss the summer’s action, dealing a huge blow to the team’s prospects.
The side will now look towards vice-captain Marcus Stoinis, in a bid to improve on last season’s performance, during which they broke even from 14 games.
2021/22 record – seven wins, seven losses
A disappointing midseason patch was ultimately the deciding factor for the Stars in BBL|11, with the side unable to capitalise on a promising start to the fixture. Melbourne lost four out of five in a serious form slump against a mix of strong and struggling opponents, often struggling out at the crease and unable to post scores in excess of 150, which is not good enough against contenders.
Although they managed to put it together towards the end of the season, the damage was done and their spot in the finals was stolen by the Hurricanes. Maxwell led the side with a team-high 468 runs for the season, further emphasising his importance to the team, while Brody Couch‘s 16 wickets were the most of any Star.
The Stars were given the second pick in the first ever BBL Draft, and selected Black Caps star Trent Boult with their first and only platinum selection. He should bring some electricity to Melbourne’s bowling attack, with the left-arm paceman able to join the team after being released from his NZ Cricket contract, although he will only be available for half of the season given his commitment to another T20 competition.
The Stars made a bid for star Strikers spinner Rashad Khan, but it was matched and they instead took Joe Clarke, with the English keeper-batsman set to be available all season, and lesser-known Englishman Luke Wood, who can offer some swing with the ball and can act as a serious power hitter.
The Stars will struggle without the services of Maxwell, but some handy recruiting in the draft with solid availability for much of the season will provide a lifeline as the side looks to climb back up the standings.
Trent Boult, Joe Burns, Hilton Cartwright, Joe Clarke, Brody Couch, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Sam Elliott, Liam Hatcher, Clint Hinchliffe, Nick Larkin, Glenn Maxwell, Tom O’Connell, Marcus Stoinis, Beau Webster, Luke Wood, Adam Zampa