1-20: The best BBL players of all time

Long before BBL discussions were dominated by the power surge and the x-factor, Lynnsanity was the biggest talking point in lounge rooms around the country.

The current Brisbane Heat captain shot to prominence and helped put the BBL on the map with a series of epic innings during the competition's formative years.

Glenn Maxwell, Dan Christian, Rashid Khan and D'Arcy Short have followed in Lynn's footsteps, sending spectators ducking for cover with monstrous sixers or bamboozling batsmen around the country.

 

 

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SCROLL DOWN TO HAVE YOUR SAY ON THE BEST BBL PLAYER OF ALL TIME

 

As T20 cricket gained a foothold around the world, the Big Bash League has attracted international stars such as Kevin Pietersen, Dwayne Bravo, Lasith Malinga and Khan to our shores.

But the local talent has not been outshone, with several Aussie power hitters and death-bowling specialists earning reputations which have helped fatten their bank balances.

We crunched the numbers, watched hours of highlights and spoke to those in the know to compile a list of the 20 best BBL players of all time before the decider of BBL10.

Here's what we came up with:

 

 

Chris Lynn has been the No. 1 batsman in BBL history and helped put the competition on the map.
Chris Lynn has been the No. 1 batsman in BBL history and helped put the competition on the map.

 

 

1. Chris Lynn (Brisbane Heat)

Matches: 89 Runs: 2768 High score: 101 Average: 37.4 Strike rate: 151.3

The master blaster from Brisbane helped put the BBL on the map as Lynnsanity took the BBL by storm - particularly in its early years. Lynn's best campaigns prior to BBL10 yielded 387 runs (2019-20), 378 runs (2015-16) and 309 runs from five games in 2016-17. Lynn's last four innings in the 2016-17 tournament included knocks of 85 not out from 48 balls, 84 not out from 50 balls and 98 not out from 49 balls. He's the No. 1 ranked batsman for BBL runs, was the first batsman to 2500 BBL runs and holds the record for the most BBL sixes at 171. The next best on that list is Glenn Maxwell with 97. Lynn remains one of the most destructive batsmen in the competition and has smashed 436 runs at an average of 36.3 this summer.

 

 

 

2. Glenn Maxwell (Melbourne Renegades/Melbourne Stars)

Matches: 87 Runs: 2205 Average: 32.4 Strike rate: 149.1 Wickets: 33

If one player can match Lynn's highlights reel, it's Melbourne Stars captain Maxwell. He boasts a BBL career strike rate of almost 150, has amassed more than 2000 runs and has contributed 20 wickets in the past three seasons. Maxwell is the ultimate T20 all-rounder and also has 56 catches in his BBL career. He's averaged 31 runs an innings or better in every BBL campaign since 2015-16, making him one of the most consistent batsmen in the tournament's history. That's some feat considering the rate at which he scores his runs.

 

 

 

3. Dan Christian (Brisbane Heat/Hobart Hurricanes/Melbourne Renegades/Sydney Sixers)

Matches: 103 Runs: 1725 Average: 24.6 Strike rate: 138.3 Wickets: 80 Average: 27.7

 

Dan Christian is to the Big Bash what Shane Warne is to leg-spin bowling. Christian has been one of the competition's premier players since its inception and remains one of the BBL's best all-rounders despite being in the twilight of his career. Whether it be for the Heat, Hurricanes, Renegades or Sixers, he's been a reliable contributor with bat and ball. It's no coincidence Christian seems to win T20 titles wherever he goes. With more than 1700 runs Christian ranks in the top-20 BBL batsmen of all time and he's in the top-10 for wickets. As far as BBL all-rounders go, Christian should be considered No.1.

 

 

 

4. Rashid Khan (Adelaide Strikers)

Matches: 50 Wickets: 72 Average: 17.5 Strike rate: 16.1 Economy: 6.46

Some would argue the international T20 player of the decade should be higher on this list. They'd have a strong case too, although BBL longevity nudged Lynn, Maxwell and Christian ahead of the Strikers spin wizard. A total of 72 wickets in 50 games speaks volumes to his impact and he's a beloved figure in the City of Churches. Perhaps the greatest compliment to Rashid is that after four seasons playing in the BBL, most batsmen still seem to be bamboozled by his brilliance.

 

D’Arcy Short has been one of the BBL’s most-prolific batsmen in recent years.
D’Arcy Short has been one of the BBL’s most-prolific batsmen in recent years.

 

5. D'Arcy Short (Hobart Hurricanes)

Matches: 57 Runs: 2109 Average: 40.6 Strike rate: 138.9 Wickets: 29

This summer has been the only tournament where Short has endured a lean run with the bat. The powerful left-hander burst onto the scene with Hobart, announcing himself with 572 runs at 57 in 2017-18. He backed up his breakout campaign with 636 runs the next season, earning a reputation as one of the biggest hitters in the country. The opening partnership of Short and Matthew Wade has provided plenty of highlights at Bellerive Oval. Short has also collected more than 20 wickets in the past three seasons.

 

 

 

Whether it be for Perth …
Whether it be for Perth …

 

6. Shaun Marsh (Perth Scorchers/Melbourne Renegades)

Matches: 61 Runs: 2196 High score: 99 not out Average: 41.4 Strike rate: 128.3

Marsh has arguably been the most-consistent batsman in BBL history during stints with Perth Scorchers and Melbourne Renegades. The left-hander is the only player in the top-five for overall runs who also boasts an average better than 40. You could mount a strong argument he would be the No. 1 run scorer in BBL history if he'd played as many games as Chris Lynn or Aaron Finch. The way he adapted to the tricky batting wicket at Marvel Stadium in BBL09, still managing 449 runs, underlined his quality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Andrew Tye (Perth Scorchers/Sydney Thunder)

Matches: 67 Wickets: 89 Average: 20.3 Strike rate: 15.8 Economy: 7.65

Tye started his BBL career in Sydney, but only featured in three games in 2013-14 before joining Perth. That's where he made his name as the best slower-ball exponent in the BBL, snaring 27 wickets in 19 games in his first two campaigns as a Scorcher. Much like Marsh, he would arguably be the BBL's all-time leading wicket taker had he played as many games as current record holder Ben Laughlin. Tye averages a wicket every 16 balls, while Laughlin's record is a scalp every 17.8 balls. It's really splitting hairs though, as they've been the two best seamers in BBL history.

 

Aaron Finch is one of only a hand of batsmen to have scored 2000 BBL runs.
Aaron Finch is one of only a hand of batsmen to have scored 2000 BBL runs.

 

 

 

 

8. Aaron Finch (Melbourne Renegades)

Matches: 76 Runs: 2431 High score: 111 not out Average: 34.2 Strike rate: 134.6

Only Chris Lynn has more runs than the Renegades captain in the BBL's history. Finch has two tons and 18 fifties in 76 BBL games, averaging a milestone with the bat roughly every four matches. Finch's achievements are even more meritorious when you consider his home ground has traditionally been the most difficult batting pitch in the BBL. Finch has averaged 44 or better in five of nine BBL seasons and cracked the 2000-run milestone during BBL09.

 

Ben Laughlin is the leading wicket-taker in BBL history.
Ben Laughlin is the leading wicket-taker in BBL history.

 

9. Ben Laughlin (Adelaide Strikers/Brisbane Heat/Hobart Hurricanes)

 

Matches: 95 Wickets: 111 Average: 24 Strike rate: 17.8 Economy: 8.06

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laughlin was the first bowler in BBL history to eclipse 100 wickets. It's easily forgotten how good he was in the early seasons of the BBL, collecting 28 wickets in 16 games from 2012-2014 with a strike rate of 12.8. Laughlin averaged a wicket every 16.5 balls or better in every campaign until 2018-19, his last as a Striker. His accuracy at the death and effective slower balls were a forerunner to players such as Daniel Sams, who has excelled in recent seasons.

 

Marcus Stoinis celebrates his BBL record hundred against Sydney Sixers.
Marcus Stoinis celebrates his BBL record hundred against Sydney Sixers.

 

 

10. Marcus Stoinis (Perth Scorchers/Melbourne Stars)

 

Matches: 74 Runs: 2137 Average: 36.8 Strike rate: 131.6 Wickets: 36

 

 

 

 

Stoinis has emerged as one of the BBL's premier all-rounders in the past three seasons after a 2018-19 campaign where he took 14 wickets and compiled 533 runs. His bowling has been limited in the past two tournaments due to injury, but he still had a huge impact in BBL09, scoring a tournament-record 705 runs. His knock of 147 not out from 79 balls during that campaign is the record for the highest individual score in BBL history.

 

Ben Cutting enjoys a wicket during his time with Brisbane Heat.
Ben Cutting enjoys a wicket during his time with Brisbane Heat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Ben Cutting (Brisbane Heat/Sydney Thunder)

 

Matches: 94 Runs: 1479 Average: 23.9 Strike rate: 147.5 Wickets: 67 Average: 31.7

 

 

With more than 60 wickets and 1000 runs during his BBL career, Cutting has been of the competition's premier all-rounders. He was a matchwinner during a distinguished career with Brisbane Heat before switching to Sydney Thunder this season. Only Chris Lynn, Alex Hales and Glenn Maxwell have a better batting strike rate of the batsmen with more than 1000 career runs. Two of his best seasons with the ball for Brisbane were BBL09 and BBL10.

 

Sean Abbott has been the linchpin of Sydney Sixers’ attack.
Sean Abbott has been the linchpin of Sydney Sixers’ attack.

 

12. Sean Abbott (Sydney Sixers/Sydney Thunder)

 

Matches: 79 Wickets: 104 Average: 21.1 Strike rate: 14.9 Economy: 8.5

 

Second only to Laughlin for career BBL wickets, Abbott might be the BBL's most underrated bowler. He's taken at least 11 wickets in every season since 2015 and averaged better than two wickets a game in three of the past five campaigns. The likelihood is he will go past Laughlin and become the BBL's most-prolific bowler in coming seasons.

 

Kane Richardson has excelled in the BBL for the Strikers and Renegades.
Kane Richardson has excelled in the BBL for the Strikers and Renegades.

 

13. Kane Richardson (Adelaide Strikers/Melbourne Renegades)

 

Matches: 79 Wickets: 98 Average: 22.9 Strike rate: 17.5 Economy: 7.8

 

 

Richardson sits third in the BBL for wickets taken with a very similar record to Abbott's. He's been a shining light in the past two summers for Melbourne Renegades. His four seasons in Melbourne have yielded more than 60 wickets and his ability to capitalise on the conditions at Marvel Stadium has made him one of the BBL's most-reliable performers.

 

Brad Hodge performed strongly for three BBL clubs.
Brad Hodge performed strongly for three BBL clubs.

 

14. Brad Hodge (Melbourne Stars/Melbourne Renegades/Adelaide Strikers)

Matches: 50 Runs: 1412 High score: 88 Average: 42.8 Strike rate: 134.3

 

Hodge is one of only three players with more than 1000 BBL runs and an average of higher than 40 - the others are D'Arcy Short and Shaun Marsh. Hodge regularly averaged better than 30 each season and twice averaged 48 runs an innings in the BBL. Be it for the Renegades, Stars or Strikers, his consistency marked him as one of the best batsmen of the early BBL years.

 

Michael Klinger heads out to bat for the Scorchers.
Michael Klinger heads out to bat for the Scorchers.

 

15. Michael Klinger (Adelaide Strikers/Perth Scorchers)

 

Matches: 71 Runs: 1947 High score: 105 not out Average: 30.4 Strike rate: 118

 

 

Klinger is best remembered for his heroics for Perth but also enjoyed three fine seasons in Adelaide. The opener scored more than 1200 runs for the Scorchers at an average of close to 30. The highlight of his time in Perth was his unbeaten 71 in the BBL06 decider which steered the Scorchers home by nine wickets.

 

Matthew Wade has formed a strong partnership with D’Arcy Short in recent seasons.
Matthew Wade has formed a strong partnership with D’Arcy Short in recent seasons.

 

 

16. Matthew Wade (Melbourne Stars/Melbourne Renegades/Hobart Hurricanes)

 

 

Matches: 68 Runs: 1831 High score: 130 not out Average: 33.3 Strike rate: 143.9 Dismissals: 38

 

 

Wade has come into his own in the BBL in recent seasons, enjoying a profitable pairing with D'Arcy Short. He plundered 592 runs at 42.3 in BBL08 and 351 runs at 50.1 in BBL09. His efforts two summers ago were pivotal in earning him a recall to the Aussie Test squad. Wade overtook Ben Dunk during BBL10 to become the most prolific wicketkeeper in BBL history.

 

 

 

 

17. Adam Zampa (Adelaide Strikers/Sydney Thunder/Melbourne Stars)

 

Matches: 75 Wickets: 88 Average: 22 Strike rate: 18.3 Economy: 7.2

 

 

 

While Rashid rightfully receives plaudits for his BBL efforts, Australia's white-ball spinner has been just as effective in the past three campaigns. Zampa has more than 50 wickets in the past three BBL tournaments and took his first five-wicket haul for the Stars against Adelaide Strikers recently.

 

Jon Wells’ consistency might make him the most underrated player in BBL history.
Jon Wells’ consistency might make him the most underrated player in BBL history.

 

18. Jon Wells (Adelaide Strikers/Hobart Hurricanes)

 

Matches: 94 Runs: 2053 High score: 72 Average: 34.2 Strike rate: 121.4

 

 

The most underrated player in BBL history? Possibly. Wells has been one of the leading middle-order batsmen in the BBL and joined the 2000-run club earlier this summer. Five of the six players ahead of him for overall career runs (Lynn, Finch, Marsh, Stoinis and Short) are top-order batsmen. Only Glenn Maxwell has more runs than Wells of those who have featured regularly in the middle-order during their BBL careers. His ability to manipulate fields in the middle overs of T20 innings has made him a key cog of Adelaide Strikers' team.

 

Kevin Pietersen is applauded off the MCG.
Kevin Pietersen is applauded off the MCG.

 

19. Kevin Pietersen (Melbourne Stars)

 

Matches: 33 Runs: 1110 High score: 76 Average: 37 Strike rate: 137.2

 

 

KP lived up to his matchwinner tag with the Stars and his batting average of 37 is one of the best of any player with more than 1000 BBL runs. Pietersen compiled 10 fifties in 33 innings, effectively raising the bat in every three BBL knocks. That's a formidable record and his ability to put bums on seats at the MCG was unquestionable.

 

Usman Khawaja had an unforgettable finals series in BBL05.
Usman Khawaja had an unforgettable finals series in BBL05.

 

20. Usman Khawaja (Sydney Thunder)

 

Matches: 57 Runs: 1718 High score: 109 not out Average: 33.7 Strike rate: 129

 

 

Who could forget Khawaja's sizzling finals campaign in BBL05 when he smashed 104 not out from 59 balls in the semi-final and 70 from 40 balls in the final to launch the Thunder to the title? He's been more consistent than many would realise with more than 1700 runs from 57 innings.

 

 

Originally published as 1-20: The best BBL players of all time



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