The Adelaide Strikers will be without their Most Valuable Player from last season in Michael Neser and have named Tasmanian bowler Hamish Kingston to replace him in their squad.
Neser (pictured above) has been ruled out of the entire BBL|04 season due to a back injury.
Kingston, 23, is an emerging medium-fast bowler who has forced his way into the Tasmanian team at both Shield and one-day level this season.
Kingston (pictured below) played six matches for Tasmania in the Matador BBQs One-Day Cup in October and impressed the Strikers hierarchy, taking eight wickets at an average of 23.5 including 3/50 against South Australia.
He has played two matches in the Sheffield Shield this season, taking 6 wickets in his most recent match against Victoria in Hobart.
SACA High Performance Manager Tim Nielsen said Kingston had some similarities to Neser, who claimed 10 wickets in last year’s Big Bash League.
“We were looking to replace Neser with someone who could bowl in the middle overs as we have Richardson, Tait and Laughlin, who bowl at both ends of the innings,” Nielsen said.
“In the Matador Cup we saw some things we really liked from Hamish – we think he can use his change of pace and fill that Neser role in the middle of the innings that is really important. He’s also athletic in the field.”
Nielsen said the loss of Neser meant there would be more opportunities for younger players on the list.
“With Neser and (Phillip) Hughes we have lost two really important players to our group, so we’ll be looking for our experienced players to stand up and for our younger players to take the opportunities they’ll get,” Nielsen said.
“We’re really excited about Travis Head, Adam Zampa, and Alex Ross… and Kingston. We want to give these young men a chance and we expect them to do really well.”
The Strikers have been given an indefinite extension on naming an Australian replacement player for Phillip Hughes.
Yesterday, Dutch international and T20 specialist Ryan ten Doeschate was named as a replacement for Kieron Pollard who will join the West Indies squad in the second half of the BBL season.
It means the Strikers current squad (with the Hughes' replacement still to be named) is…
Batsmen – Craig Simmons, Brad Hodge, Alex Ross, Jono Dean, Travis Head
All-Rounders – Johan Botha, Kieron Pollard (replacement player – Ryan ten Doeschate), Trent Lawford
Keeper – Tim Ludeman
Bowlers – Chadd Sayers, Adam Zampa, Jon Holland, Ben Laughlin, Gary Putland, Shaun Tait, Kane Richardson, Hamish Kingston
The Strikers open the BBL season against the Melbourne Stars at Adelaide Oval in a week’s time – on 18 December.