Photo Credit: Melbourne Renegades
The Big Bash League will hold its inaugural overseas player draft this Sunday.
All clubs can select a maximum of three players, with the Melbourne Renegades holding the prized number one draft pick.
The Renegades also hold picks 9, 24 and 25, after two weighted lotteries were drawn last month to determine the order of picks.
We caught up with Melbourne Renegades General Manager, James Rosengarten, to find out how the plans for the draft are coming together.
It’s coming along very well. There’s a lot of time being invested – we’re going through a lot of numbers and have had a lot of conversations with players and managers all around the world. With all the nominations and all the other T20 leagues and international fixtures on the radar, there’s plenty of moving parts. But our preparation has been good and we’re confident in our planning.
I think we’ve spoken to about 50 players or player managers up to now. We’ve done a lot of work. There’s a lot of other competitions around the world, but there’s plenty of love for the Renegades, the BBL and playing in Australia.
WHAT’S THE PLAN WITH PICK 1?
It’s great to have the first pick and to be able to fully control what we do in the first round. The full list of Platinum players has been announced today, so now we know all the options available to us at Pick 1. There are some huge names in that Platinum pool for us to consider.
One thing is for sure, whoever we take with pick one will be one of the very big names in world cricket. See the full list of Platinum players here.
IS THE RENEGADES’ STRATEGY TO PICK THE BEST AVAILABLE PLAYERS, OR DO YOU TARGET PLAYERS FOR SPECIFIC ROLES IN THE TEAM? AND HOW MUCH DOES EACH PLAYER’S AVAILABILITY IMPACT YOUR THINKING?
These are the questions we’re working through. We’ve spoken previously about our review of the last couple of years and the clear needs we need to fill with our list. With our first pick, we’ll take the player who we think is very best in the draft.
From there it starts to become about some of the needs we have in our list and maximising player availability. I think for most Platinum and Gold players, we anticipate they’ll be available until early January and then likely be moving to other competitions.
I think in that Silver or Bronze round, you might see us draft someone who isn’t a huge name on our shores yet, but someone we’ve done a lot of homework on and can play an important role for us.
HOW MUCH ARE YOU PLANNING FOR ‘REPLACEMENT PLAYERS’ TO COVER PEOPLE WHO AREN’T AVAILABLE FOR THE FULL TOURNAMENT?
I think it’s realistic to expect at least two players we draft to be leaving mid-tournament. But we’ll have a replacement player plan for both of those set out before draft night and then from Monday morning after the draft, we’ll look to get deals done for the best players who slip through.
DO YOU SEE THE ‘RETENTION PICK’ BEING A BIG FACTOR ON DRAFT NIGHT?
It’s going to be interesting. We’re doing a lot of predictions around what we think other teams might do and how that could impact us, particularly in the first two rounds. We obviously get to drive the draft with the first pick, but there’s a lot of scenario planning from there.
We’ll have plans in place if we do look to draft someone that a club can match if they want to retain them. I think we’ll see a few retention picks activated on the night.
WHAT’S THE PLAN WITH THE RENEGADES’ SPIN STOCKS?
We think there’s a lot of strong spinners out there from an overseas player perspective. That’s our target, to bring in a front-line spin bowler through the draft.
We’re comfortable with our planning in that space and we’re also still looking at local spin bowlers who might be able to come in and play a role for us.
HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK THE DRAFT WILL BOOST INTEREST IN THE BIG BASH?
I think this is going to be an exciting week, leading into draft night. Now that we have the full list of players and Platinum players available, there’s going to be a lot of speculation on which clubs will draft which players.
Overall, the draft is going to have a significant impact in allowing more top players to be involved in the BBL.
We know this will create interest for our supporters, both with the players we sign and those playing for other clubs who travel to play against us at Marvel Stadium and GMHBA Stadium.
We hope the players we sign will encourage people to come to games and watch them in action, alongside our local recruits and the improvement of our team overall.