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Fans the driving force

22 November 2018

Strikers BBL skipper Travis Head

Strikers BBL captain Travis Head believes Adelaide’s incredible fans are a big reason behind the club’s on-field success and growing list of long-term re-signings.

Head became the latest Striker to re-commit on a multi-year deal which will see the left-hand batsman remain in blue until at least the end of BBL|11.

The 24-year-old joins fellow championship teammates including Alex Carey, Ben Laughlin and Michael Neser in signing on for several seasons.

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Popular leg-spinner Rashid Khan and Queensland paceman Billy Stanlake, who both missed last year’s BBL Final, have also re-committed to the club.

Head said the amazing atmosphere at Adelaide Oval brought out the best in the playing group.

“That’s why a lot of the guys love playing in Adelaide and continue to sign on and continue to want to play here,” Head said.

“(It’s) because of how big the crowds are, how passionate the crowds are and they expect us to play well.

“It’s great driving to the ground and seeing all the blue coming into Adelaide Oval and filling it out. There’s no better feeling (than) warming up in front of a massive crowd.

“From winning it last year, we’ve kept a lot of those guys. Last year obviously we got that success but I think that built from two or three years of hard work.”

Travis Head stays a Striker

The Strikers boast a strong recent record at Adelaide Oval.

The club has won six consecutive BBL games at the venue, including an undefeated streak at home through BBL|07, and has lost just one of its last nine matches in Adelaide.

“We want fans to come and enjoy the game and for us to put on as much of a show as we can. I think that reflects in the crowds and the results we were getting from that,” Head said.

“We’ll go out and enjoy it, try and hit it as far as we can and take heaps of wickets.”

It’s been a huge year for Head after leading the Strikers to their maiden Big Bash title in his first summer as skipper.

He made his Test debut for Australia in Dubai and has had a busy year of first-class and limited-overs competition in England, India and back home in Australia.

Head, who held the best batting average of any Striker in BBL|07 at 53.4, has continued to work hard on his game but said playing on instinct was just as important.

“For me it’s just continuing to learn and continuing to get better… and just remembering to have as much fun as I can,” he said.

“Going out and being relaxed, working really hard off the field and then going out and letting it all out on the field and playing with that freedom.”

The Strikers begin their BBL|07 campaign against the Brisbane Heat at the Gabba on Wednesday, 19 December.