On the up: BBL|12’s breakthrough stars

THE BBL has long been a hotbed for emerging talent, and that was no different in BBL|12. Across a season which saw the Perth Scorchers take out their fifth title, players of all disciplines and experience levels put their names in lights, and in this article, we highlight seven prospects who either burst onto the scene or took the next step towards potential international honours.

Josh Brown
Brisbane Heat | Top Order Batter | 29yo

14 matches | 258 runs @ 18.42 | 148.27 SR | 62 HS | 50 x1

The now-famed bat maker and Brisbane Heat basher burst onto the scene in just his second BBL outing, thumping the Sydney Sixers for a memorable 19-ball half-century. He ended up with 62 off just 23 deliveries, including six maximums to announce himself in style. Brown went on to play 14 games for the Heat, notching 258 runs at a strike rate of 148.27.

Oliver Davies
Sydney Thunder | Top Order Batter | 22yo

15 matches | 333 runs @ 27.75 | 133.73 SR | 65 HS | 50 x3

Davies doubled his career innings tally in BBL|12, wielding the willow 13 times for the Sydney Thunder and leading their runs tally with 333. Among his feats were three fifties, including two consecutively on either side of the New Year. His aggressive style and top notch fielding make him an exciting watch, traits which he shares with younger brother, Joel – Australia’s Under 19 captain.

Paddy Dooley
Hobart Hurricanes | Spin Bowler | 25yo

10 matches | 19 wickets @ 12.78 | 6.56 economy | 4-16 BB | 4W x1

There’s serious substance to Dooley’s flair, as proven by the numbers his unique bowling action produced. In just his second BBL campaign, the Hobart Hurricanes tweaker took more wickets than any other spinner (19) in 10 matches, going at an economy rate of just 6.57. He has now signed on with the ‘Canes until 2025, as reward for an outstanding season.

Aaron Hardie
Perth Scorchers | Batting Allrounder | 24yo

15 matches | 460 runs @ 41.81 | 141.10 SR | 90* HS | 50 x4
5 wickets @ 22.40 | 8.00 economy | 2-10 BB

Making the most of his promotion to first drop in the Scorchers’ batting order, Hardie ended up with more runs than anyone in BBL|12. In 15 innings, the batting allrounder chalked up 430 runs at an average of 41.82, doubling his previous high score (now 90) along the way. That was one of his four half-centuries, and he also snared five wickets at a tidy rate. International honours beckon.

Aaron Hardie was one of the players of the tournament | Image Credit: Cricket Australia via Getty Images

Spencer Johnson
Brisbane Heat | Fast Bowler | 27yo

10 matches | 9 wickets @ 31.33 | 7.55 economy | 3-28 BB

The numbers may not tell the full story, but Johnson produced several clutch performances with the ball as one of the finds of the BBL season. Sending down left-arm pace deliveries at a good clip, the 27-year-old gained notoriety for bowling the Heat’s difficult overs – including consecutive matches against the Stars and Hurricanes where he warded off opposition chases in the final set of six.

Lance Morris
Perth Scorchers | Fast Bowler | 24yo

5 matches | 9 wickets @ 15.22 | 6.85 economy | 3-26 BB

Morris produced an outstanding domestic season overall and boasts a profile which just about surpasses the breakout tag by now. In the BBL setting, he carried on the Shield form which saw him included in Australia’s Test squad during the summer and for its upcoming tour of India. Morris’ thunderbolts are an intimidating force, and helped quadruple his career BBL wickets haul.

Will Sutherland
Melbourne Renegades | Allrounder | 23yo

15 matches | 210 runs @ 30.00 | 150.00 SR | 42* HS
7 wickets @ 53.71 | 8.41 economy | 2-22 BB

Known as ‘The Chief’, Sutherland certainly assumed responsibility fitting of his moniker in BBL|12. The supremely athletic 23-year-old entered his fifth BBL season and took great strides with the bat to creep up the Renegades batting order. His feats with the willow arguably surpassed that of his bowling, claiming seven wickets but copping a bit of tap. He’s one of the nation’s best all-round talents.


Remember the names above, but also jot down the ones to come. 19-year-old Cooper Connolly was scarcely used throughout the BBL season, but announced himself with a super knock in the final to help drag his Scorchers over the line.

Fellow batter Campbell Kellaway has showcased a temperament for longer forms of the game, but also provided glimpses of promise for the Melbourne Stars, while esteemed junior Teague Wyllie has all the makings of a future International.

The younger of the Davies boys, Joel is another talent to monitor, and there are so many more players in line to make a splash in BBL|13.

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