Prolific Tye happy to fly in Jhye's shadow

Scorchers veteran AJ Tye says he has no qualms with teammate Jhye Richardson taking the headlines as the club prepares to host their first men's BBL Pride match against the Thunder on Wednesday

It's a mark of how much he is flying under the radar when his unnerving stare down the barrel of dugout camera can get more traction that his bowling, but that seems to be the way AJ Tye likes it.

There's no doubt 13 scalps in six matches at a touch over 15 to have him equal second on the KFC BBL|12 wicket-takers tally would usually attract more headlines, but that doesn't account for the electric return from injury by Perth Scorchers teammate Jhye Richardson.

Richardson also has 13 BBL|12 wickets at a slightly lower average of 11.61 since sitting out November with a bruised heel, including a stunning performance of 4-25 in their last match at home in Perth where he was on a hat-trick twice.

But Tye – the BBL's second leading wicket-taker of all-time – says he is happy to fly in his younger teammate's shadow.

"I'm just doing my job," Tye told reporters ahead of the Scorchers' first ever Pride match tomorrow night.

"Jhye's an exceptional bowler and he's been setting us up, the job that he and Dorff (Jason Behrendorff) have been doing with the new ball makes my job a lot easier.

"He's doing his thing and we're doing our thing as a team. So I'm just glad I've been able to take a couple of wickets and help to the team to have four (wins) in a row."

The Scorchers will become the first men's professional sports team in Western Australia to hold a Pride match when they host Sydney Thunder at Perth Stadium on Wednesday night.

Scorchers players will wear rainbow colours in the form of hat pins, multi-coloured shoelaces, sweat bands and socks that have been tie-dyed to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community and the match will feature a multi-coloured pyro and light show and a performance by DJ Leask.

Image Id: 04CA2F82B63C4B03902BE559D3E24F57 Image Caption: Tye has been wearing a rainbow sweat band throughout BBL|12 // Getty

The Scorchers hosted their first ever Weber WBBL Pride match in October at the WACA Ground, becoming just the second WBBL team to host a Pride match, with the Sydney Sixers holding an annual WBBL and BBL Pride Party match since the 2019-20 season. 

"WA Cricket and Perth Scorchers we want to be the leaders in world cricket and I think this is another step in that direction and another chance for us to show that we are a world-class and world-leading franchise," Tye said.

"It's very important that we create a safe and inclusive environment for everyone and we're doing a lot of work off the field and within our staff groups to educate people around Pride and what it means, and why we're doing it.

Richardson the destroyer picks up another four-for

"As athletes we have such a strong platform to drive an awareness campaign and to show people what it means and it's really important for future generations to understand and accept all walks of life and differences in the world."

The Scorchers' Pride match is also a clash of BBL|12's current top two with the Thunder recovering from a disastrous 15 all out earlier in the tournament to win their past three matches, which included smashing the fourth highest BBL total of all-time with 6-228 against the Hurricanes in Albury on New Year's Eve.

"They've got a menacing batting line-up," Tye said. 

"Alex Hales, (Matthew) Gilkes, Rilee Rossouw (and) Ollie Davies, they're in full form and they've got a world-class bowling attack as well, so we're prepared for a good battle.

"We're looking forward to that challenge here (in Perth) and putting on a show and hopefully beating them."

Scorchers squad v Thunder: Ashton Turner (c), Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Cooper Connolly, Stephen Eskinazi (England), Faf du Plessis (South Africa), Aaron Hardie, Peter Hatzoglou, Nick Hobson, Josh Inglis, Matt Kelly, Adam Lyth (England), Hamish McKenzie, Jhye Richardson, Andrew Tye

Thunder squad v Scorchers: Ben Cutting, Joel Davies, Oliver Davies, Brendan Doggett, Matthew Gilkes, Toby Gray, Chris Green (c), Alex Hales (England), Baxter Holt, Nathan McAndrew, Ross Pawson, Usman Qadir (Pakistan), Alex Ross, Rilee Rossouw (South Africa), Sam Whiteman