World's top-ranked T20 batter Malan joins Hobart for BBL
England's dependable T20 run-scorer Dawid Malan joins the Hobart Hurricanes in another big coup for the Hurricanes in BBL|10
19 October 2020, 02:01 PM AEST
The world's top-ranked T20 international batsman is coming to the KFC BBL after the Hobart Hurricanes today confirmed the signing of Dawid Malan.
Malan becomes the first new international player to commit to playing in the marquee 10th season of the BBL this summer.
The Perth Scorchers last week confirmed the re-signing of Liam Livingstone, while the Sydney Thunder re-signed Alex Hales to join countrymen Tom Banton (Brisbane Heat) and Tom Curran (Sydney Sixers) who had existing contracts, with Malan now the fifth England international confirmed to feature in the tournament, with more expected to follow suit.
Will Jacks, the player of the tournament in this year's T20 Blast tournament in England, has also been linked with the Hurricanes.
Malan revealed midway through Australia's white-ball tour in September that he was heading to the BBL this summer, and rose to the top spot on the International Cricket Council's T20 batter rankings following his performances against the Aussies.
"The BBL is something in the (English) winter you really like to watch, it's a very good product and it's something I've really wanted to be a part of for a very long time," Malan said in September.
"As a player, you want to play all over the world and in different leagues. It's the only way to improve and learn different conditions.
"It'll be a great learning opportunity for me to go out there, especially with the Twenty20 World Cup (in Australia) in two years’ time.
"If I can get some good experience in the Big Bash, I think that can only help."
Hobart head coach Adam Griffith, who spent time with Malan at English county club Middlesex, said he was confident Malan would fit into the Hurricanes group.
"I'm very excited to have someone of Dawid's talent and experience join the team," said Griffith.
"He is a proven performer at T20 cricket on the international stage and I’m looking forward to seeing him hopefully replicate that for the Hurricanes."
The 33-year-old left-hander hit 66 from 43 balls in the first T20 against Australia to win the player of the match award and then 42 from 32 in game two. That took him to a career average of 50.84 in T20 internationals, which was the highest batting average of any male in history to have batted 15 times.
His 21 from 18 in the third match saw that average dip back below 50, and he now sits behind only Virat Kohli and Pakistan superstar Babar Azam in T20 batting averages with 48.71 after 16 innings, and a very healthy strike-rate of 146.66 that is ahead of both subcontinent players.
Malan's signing comes amid uncertainty over England internationals' availability for the entirety of the tournament, with proposed limited overs series in South Africa in November and in Pakistan in January yet to be confirmed.
"We follow - as we do every year - the FTP (Future Tours Program) and movements of international schedules," BBL boss Alistair Dobson said last week.
"There will be some potential disruptions, as there are every year, but ... we've had more interest than ever before from players and agents."
Malan scores his runs at No.3 with England and can expect to fill a similar role with the Hurricanes behind their explosive opening combination of Matthew Wade and D'Arcy Short.
And although Wade's availability is set to be curtailed this summer due to his involvement in Australia's Test squad, the Canes are well placed to cover that absence with a log-jam of players wanting top-order berths.
Big-hitting Ben McDermott has already signalled he is seeking to return to the top of the order this summer having switched to a middle-order finishing role last year in a failed bit to try and break into the Australia team.
Mac Wright, who had a breakout year with the Hurricanes last summer, and the club's other big-name off-season signing Peter Handscomb will also be looking to push up the order this summer, giving the Canes impressive depth in their batting line-up.
The Hurricanes last week added 19-year-old allrounder Mitchell Owen to their full squad, having been on a rookie contract last summer.
The local product, who also earned a rookie contract with Tasmania this summer, was signed to a two-year deal, with veteran allrounder James Faulkner locked in to return this summer.
Leg-spinner Wil Parker, allrounder Tim David and left-arm swing bowler Nick Winter are also understood to be in Hobart's plans.
Hobart Hurricanes BBL|10 squad (so far): Scott Boland, Jake Doran, Nathan Ellis, James Faulkner, Peter Handscomb, Dawid Malan (ENG), Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, David Moody, Mitch Owen, D'Arcy Short, Matthew Wade (c), Mac Wright.