Boyce joins Strikers, eyes partnership with BBL star

Experienced leg-spinner Cameron Boyce returns to the club that first gave him a chance in T20 cricket

Cameron Boyce is eyeing the chance to form a potent spin partnership with Rashid Khan this summer after signing a two-year deal to join the Adelaide Strikers.

With the Strikers expected to use their first pick in the BBL's first overseas player draft to snare the Afghanistan leg-spinner, Boyce will be front-runner to fill the role held by veteran Fawad Ahmed last summer.

The 40-year-old Fawad, who moved into a coaching role as a spin consultant with the Australian squad on their tour of Pakistan earlier this year, is out of contract and not expected to return to the Strikers.

Boyce, who has 97 career T20 wickets at an economy of 7.55 and a strike rate of 18.80, said he has already been in contact with Rashid ahead of a hoped-for link-up in December.

Every wicket Boyce bagged with the Renegades

For the 33-year-old, a new deal with the Strikers is something of a homecoming after his first foray into Big Bash cricket a decade ago.

Pigeonholed by Queensland at the time as a first-class bowler, Boyce recalls sitting in the Gabba stands watching Heat games in BBL|01 and saying to his twin brother Chris "I feel like I’m good enough to play this".

Unable to break into any squad, Adelaide under then head coach Darren Berry threw Boyce a lifeline.

Image Id: 490CC8B3200D4A0B8FB3D1AE1DFFE7A0 Image Caption: Cameron Boyce celebrates the wicket of Chris Rogers in December 2012 // Getty

"I just wanted to have a chance, so when Adelaide reached out that second year I got that chance and things just sort of took off from there," Boyce told

"So to look back now and think that was 10 years ago is obviously pretty crazy.

"But being able to go back to the Strikers, they were the first team that signed me and showed that bit of faith in me, I'm really excited to be able to go down and repay that."

Boyce is nothing if not loyal. He suffered a health crisis in late 2020 that kept him sidelined from the Melbourne Renegades for the duration of BBL|10 and throughout was desperate to return to the club to repay their support during that period.

His 10 wickets in four games at the back end of BBL|11 settled his debt, even though Boyce had been told he would not be re-contracted by the cellar-dwelling 'Gades ahead of a promised clean-out that has so far failed to materialise.

His time with the Renegades finished with a five-wicket haul including a stunning four-in-four-balls double hat-trick in a narrow defeat and, knowing it would be his last game, still said he would give it all back just for a team win.

Boyce creates history with unbelievable double hat-trick

So when the Strikers made enquiries for the BBL|12 season, Boyce was immediately keen to return to the club that gave him his initial chance in T20 cricket back in BBL|02 in the 2012-13 summer.

"When I heard Adelaide were interested – and there was a couple of other teams showing interest as well – but as soon as I heard Adelaide were interested I was immediately really keen to get back down there," Boyce said.

"I was speaking to Rashid a few nights ago actually and yeah, he was really excited as well."

Despite the "disappointing" end to his time with the Renegades, Boyce harbours no grudges towards the club, but is eying a return to Marvel Stadium for the Strikers' last fixture of the regular season.

"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed (to be cut by the Renegades), but I've also been around long enough to understand that that's the way it is sometimes," Boyce said.

"It's not the first time it's happened to me in my career in terms of having to move from a team or having to move from a state, so as much as I was disappointed, there's not much I can do about that decision once it's made.

"I think it's exciting and I look forward to those sort of games – we do play the Renegades at Marvel and I love playing at Marvel, obviously winning a title there was fantastic, but it's just going to be another game."

Adelaide Strikers BBL|12 squad (so far): Wes Agar, Cameron Boyce, Alex Carey, Harry Conway, Ryan Gibson, Henry Hunt, Thomas Kelly, Harry Nielsen, Matthew Renshaw, Matt Short, Jake Weatherald.