Finishing at the bottom of the table, Adam Voges had a horror first season in charge of the Scorchers after Justin Langer stepped up to lead the charge for Australia.
The Scorchers won just four of their 14 matches for the year and their SuperCoach BBL numbers were similarly ugly — no player averaged more than 70 points per game in BBL|08, and their highest-averaging player last appeared way back in Round 5.
They proved to be decidedly unpopular with fans too — by the end of the home and away season Nathan Coulter-Nile was their most-owned player across the competition, and he only appeared in just over 16% of all teams.
Top 5 players
- Jhye Richardson — BWL — 68.8 average points per game
- Nathan Coulter-Nile — BAT / BWL — 60.9
- Matthew Kelly — BWL — 57.4
- Andrew Tye — BWL — 52.1
- Jason Behrendorff — BWL — 49.6
Jhye Richardson started the season on fire, and it was no surprise that he was called up to international commitments after five rounds of the BBL|08 season — he never returned for the Scorchers after he finished with the lowest Round score of his season, with 34 points against the Heat in Round 5.
The Scorchers were definitely reliant upon their fast-bowling contingent, and it is no surprise to see that the top-averaging players across the course of their season are all ostensibly lower-order players whose primary role is to take wickets. While he’s a Dual Position Player, Nathan Coulter-Nile’s scoring capabilities were predominantly driven by his exploits with the ball rather than the willow, and it was only in Round 5 of the SC BBL season that he came close to having an even split in his scoring column, with 53 of his 109 points for the Round coming via his batting skills.
Just outside the top five performers sat Ashton Turner (BAT / BWL), who had an impressive season, earning call up to the Australian short-form squads as a result. Nevertheless, he still only averaged 44.3 points per game, and his price actually fell $6,500 across the course of the season.
Top 5 disappointments
- Will Bosisto — BAT — 15.7 average points per game
- Michael Klinger — BAT — 20.9
- David Willey — BAT / BWL — 22.4
- Hilton Cartwright — BAT / BWL — 22.7
- Usman Qadir — BAT / BWL — 33.4
The Scorchers never really got going with the bat all season long, which was a surprise given that their line-up ostensibly boasts heavy hitters such as dual position wicket-keeper / batsmen Josh Inglis and Sam Waterman at the top of the order. Neither came close to fulfilling their expectations, with both only appearing four times, and Whiteman only hitting his straps in the final round, smacking 84 points to see his final price jump $24,600 to conclude the season.
Veterans Michael Klinger and David Willey had seasons to forget, with Klinger only managing more than 40 SuperCoach points in one Round … and that was in one in which the Scorchers played twice. Willey was only around for the first seven rounds of the season, but only managed one score over 50 SuperCoach points in that time.
Most other Big Bash sides were reliant upon their spinners, and it was expected that Ashton Agar and Usman Qadir would lead the way in that regard for the Scorchers. Agar was unfortunately injured after Round 6, missing the remainder of the tournament, while Qadir only really became a regular member of their starting XI after Agar went down with injury, and even then wasn’t the big wicket-taker that he was expected to be.
Top 5 individual performances
- Shaun Marsh (BAT) — Round 10 — 152 points vs Thunder
- Andrew Tye (BWL) — Round 6 — 139 vs Stars
- Cameron Bancroft (BAT) — Round 7 — 123 vs Sixers
- Nathan Coulter-Nile (BAT / BWL) — Round 13 vs Strikers — 119 points
- Ashton Turner (BAT / BWL) — Round 12 vs Stars — 119 points
Looking ahead to BBL|09
Already, Michael Klinger has announced his Big Bash retirement and will not be back for another season, so the Scorchers could well be on the hunt for a local batsman to replace him in their line-up. They need a big hitter to lead off proceedings.
Will David Willey be back? England’s commitments next southern hemisphere summer has them touring South Africa for a four Test / three ODI / three T20I — Willey is likely to be called up for the latter two, leading to him being unavailable once more for stretches of the Big Bash season. Are the Scorchers better to look at another import option?
What will happen with the Scorchers’ wicket-keeper options? Cam Bancroft was predominantly preferred with the gloves over Josh Inglis and Sam Waterman once he was available for selection, and it’s reasonable to expect that he will available as a DPP WKP / BAT in BBL|09. Will one of Inglis or Waterman look to move to a new team to get more opportunity?