With the seeming failure of the Southern Premier League getting off the ground, Australia's Big Bash Twenty20 tournament is taking matters into their own hands with Cricket Australia allowing each state to recruit up to two international players to their teams. This is a great idea as the appeal of the Indian Premier League has shown that the lure of international stars is big business. Of course while the Australia competition can't compete in money terms with the IPL the timing of the tournament means that it's a good additional option for international players as it will never clash with the cashed up Indian tournament.
Without having a clear understanding of the touring schedules of the different nations it's interesting to see that just about every state has gone for Sri Lankan players. Ajantha Mendis for South Australia, Lasith Malinga for Tasmania and there's talk of Kumar Sangakkara playing for New South Wales and most exciting is the possiblity of Muttiah Muralithuran playing for Victoria. In fact, the only other international stars announced so far appear to be West Indian, with Chris Gayle for Western Australia and Dwayne Bravo for Victoria. Chances are they are the only nations who don't have conflicting tours during the time of the competition mind you there's also word that former Queenslander Brendon Nash is on a bit of recruiting drive for his former state in attempts to lure some of his West Indian tour mates to play for the Bulls, but it will be interesting to see what other players are announced in the coming weeks. A question I have, does Queensland want Brendon Nash? And if they do, does he count as an international player these days? And if they don't want him - isn't that a bit of an awkward situation?
I can just imagine the conversation between the Queensland Bulls rep and Brendon Nash:
BULLS: Hi Brendon, we're looking to recruit some players for the Big Bash tournament this summer.
NASH: Oh sure, I'd be happy to come back and play for you guys!
BULLS: Uh, yeah, um, that's great that you're keen, but, uh, we were kind of wondering if you could have a chat with some of your team mates.
NASH: Oh. Okay then.