Ben Laughlin is Tasmania’s ace in the deck when it comes to limited-overs cricket. He was one of the standout performers in the KFC T20 Big Bash League, finishing the tournament with 14 wickets.
Laughlin started his domestic career in Queensland, where he immediately grabbed the headlines with 23 wickets in 11 matches in his debut Ford Ranger Cup season.
In just his second match for the Bulls, Laughlin destroyed the NSW Blues with 6/23 in tropical Cairns. Later that season, he picked up three crucial wickets as Queensland stunned Victoria in the final.
His sensational arrival on the domestic scene catapulted Laughlin into the national squad for the tour of South Africa.
He played five ODI’s in 2009, finishing up with four wickets, two catches and a run out.
The Tasmanian quick also made his international T20 debut that year against South Africa, where he picked up AB de Villiers for a duck.
He had to wait four years for his next taste of international cricket in the two game series against Sri Lanka. Laughlin picked up the wicket of Dinesh Chandimal in Melbourne, but Australia lost the series 2-0.
Laughlin’s inclusion in the national side was no fluke. His form for the Tigers and the Hobart Hurricanes had been red-hot in 2012/13.
While he hadn’t been a regular member of the Shield side since joining the Tigers in 2011, his form with the white ball had been outstanding.
Laughlin’s subtle variations saw him terrorise batsmen in the BBL. His 14 victims made him the leading wicket taker in the competition, while he also proved almost impossible to get away at the death.
He enjoyed success against both Sydney teams, taking two wickets against the Thunder, and a personal best haul of 4/31 against the Sixers. He finished the season with 3/19 off four overs against the Perth Scorchers, and incredibly removed the only three batsmen to reach double figures.
Laughlin also featured in two matches for the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League, where he claimed one wicket.
The Tasmania Tigers now know they possess one of the deadliest weapons in limited-overs cricket, and need to make sure they retain his services for as long as possible. His accuracy is second to none, while his slower ball is deceptively brilliant. Throw in his athleticism in the field, and Laughlin is one of the most valuable players in the country.