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Continuity key for coach

22 October 2018

Afghan spin sensation Rashid Khan will return for the Strikers in BBL|08.

Championship coach Jason Gillespie believes continuity is key as the Adelaide Strikers prepare to defend their title in KFC BBL|08.

The Strikers have already re-signed the majority of last year’s BBL championship squad.

International stars Rashid Khan and Colin Ingram are among those who will return to represent the club in BBL|08.

Gillespie, who has also re-committed to the Strikers for a further two seasons, said it was a huge coup to retain the duo.

“I’m a big believer in continuity, especially with your overseas players. We’re delighted that those two guys have agreed to come back,” Gillespie said on FIVEaa.

“My absolute preference, and it’s not always possible it must be said, is to have overseas players for the whole tournament instead of coming in for three games or what-not.

“To have Colin and Rashid for the full Big Bash is a massive feather in our cap.

“Two fine men, two absolutely cracking players.”

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But Gillespie also knows the importance of having the depth and flexibility right through the squad.

The Strikers were required to cover several players throughout their BBL|07 campaign due to international duties, including captain Travis Head, wicketkeeper Alex Carey and bowlers Billy Stanlake and Rashid – who were both unavailable for Adelaide’s BBL Final against the Hobart Hurricanes.

Several players are again in the frame for stints with the Australian squad this summer, with Michael Neser, Peter Siddle and opener Jake Weatherald also among those pushing for higher honours.

Gillespie said having players represent the country reflected well on the club and ultimately made the squad stronger as a whole.

“We’ve got a number of players that are in and around the Australian setup at the moment,” Gillespie said.

“From a franchise point of view, we’re absolutely delighted with that. It may mean that we’re going to miss a few players throughout this Big Bash campaign, but I see it as a bit of a positive.

“We’ll have some opportunities to give some other players the chance to show what they can do. I think that’s a real positive for us.

“We feel we’ve got the strength and depth in our squad.”

The Adelaide Strikers begin their BBL|07 campaign against the Brisbane Heat on 19 December.