Christian set to find a new home for BBL|10
Allrounder poised to join Sydney Sixers for the upcoming Big Bash season, despite having a year to run on his contract with the Renegades
7 September 2020, 05:54 PM AEST
Reigning KFC BBL champions Sydney Sixers look set to acquire one of Australia's most successful T20 freelancers, Daniel Christian, as they close in on an agreement with the Melbourne Renegades ahead of BBL|10.
It is understood the Sixers have shown considerable interest in recruiting Christian, who has won seven domestic T20 titles around the world including the BBL|08 crown with the Renegades, despite the 37-year-old having another year to run on his contract with Melbourne.
The Renegades, who went from heroes to zeroes last summer in finishing last while defending their title, have little room to manoeuvre in the transfer market given the bulk of their squad from last summer remains under contract.
Allowing Christian to walk would free up some salary cap space, potentially for the Renegades to reel in a big-name international. Star Afghan Mohammad Nabi is out-of-contract and could return, while there is also room on their list for a second overseas star.
Cricket Australia's decision to put off plans for an overseas player draft (and the knock-on effects that has had on clubs' recruiting plans) as well as recent reports of a third international player being permitted in playing XIs are believed to have affected discussions over a deal for Christian. Teams are currently permitted two overseas players in their playing XIs, and up to four 'replacement' players.
But it appears there remains sufficient interest from both clubs and Christian himself to see him wearing magenta this summer.
Salary-cap mechanics aside, adding the evergreen allrounder would be a significant boost for the Sixers as they aim to clinch back-to-back titles.
Christian remains hot property on the global T20 circuit and is currently captaining Nottinghamshire as the only Australian taking part in England's domestic T20 competition.
He played a match-winning hand for Notts in their most recent game against Leicestershire last week, hitting 33 not out off 25 balls including two sixes in a run chase after earlier conceding only 21 from his four overs.
A move to the Sixers would see him come full circle on a long and unconventional career. Since debuting for his native New South Wales in 2006, Christian has played state or BBL cricket in every state bar Western Australia and has featured for 17 different T20 teams (including Australia) in India, England, South Africa, Pakistan and the Caribbean.
Having previously played for the Heat and Hurricanes, it would also see him become just the sixth player to represent four different BBL teams. Alex Hales, Joe Mennie, Ben Dunk, Nathan Reardon and Josh Lalor are the others.
The Sixers' bid for another trophy will be significantly more difficult if the likes of Steve Smith, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon - who were instrumental in their finals surge last season - are not available due to international duties.
Sixers coach Greg Shipperd told cricket.com.au last month they are preparing for that likelihood.
"There's a consistent conversation about how to get them involved but it's a pretty unique year and everyone will be scrambling to provide enough good-quality international cricket," said Shipperd.
But BBL boss Alistair Dobson has kept the door ajar for some Australian player involvement this season, while navigating strict bio-security protocols.
"We're working really closely with the national team on how we can create the right environments and right processes on how we can optimise that transition, with players coming into the BBL set-up as seamlessly as we can," Dobson told cricket.com.au on the weekend.
"From a scheduling point of view we're looking to find windows where players can come out of the national set-up into the BBL."