Heat lose BBL's top-ranked bowler
Badree sidelined for two weeks with hamstring strain, Richardson on comeback trail for Strikers
AAP & cricket.com.au
5 January 2017, 04:32 PM AEST
Brisbane Heat have been dealt a massive blow with star leg- spinner Samuel Badree set to miss the next two weeks with a hamstring strain.
Badree, the KFC Big Bash's No.1 bowler in the Official Extra BBL Player Rankings, injured his hamstring during the Heat’s loss to the Sydney Sixers on Tuesday night and did not fly to Perth with the rest of the Brisbane squad on Wednesday.
Scans have confirmed a grade one hamstring strain, which will see the West Indian miss the Heat’s next two KFC Big Bash matches – tonight’s fixture against the Scorchers and a home clash, also against the Scorchers, next Wednesday at the Gabba.
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The Heat then have a six-day break before their next match against the Melbourne Stars on January 17, with the club hopeful they will have their star leggie back for the MCG match.
“It’s at the lesser end of the scale so we will work now on getting Samuel strong and ready to play again in the back end of the tournament," Heat physiotherapist Martin Love said.
Heat coach Dan Vettori confirmed the club was searching for a replacement international player to cover Badree’s absence.
“We are down the track in terms of identifying a player who will be available for us and will progress that as promptly as we can," Vettori said.
Meanwhile, the Adelaide Strikers will remain without quick Kane Richardson when they take on Hobart Hurricanes on Friday.
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Richardson has returned to bowling for the first time since injuring his back, but won't be available for the match at Adelaide Oval.
The Australia limited-overs representative experienced back pain a week ago against Perth and was withdrawn from the Strikers' squad, with some fears he might miss the remainder of the BBL season.
However, the 25-year-old's return looks to be ahead of schedule after returning on Thursday to the Adelaide Oval nets.
"We are now aiming for a return sooner rather than later," Strikers sports scientist John Porter said.
"Kane will be having a light bowl today for the first time since his injury, and we'll assess his progress following the session."
The seventh-placed Strikers could desperately do with Richardson's firepower with the ball on Friday, after the Hurricanes had little difficulty cruising to a victory target of 144 when the teams met at Blundstone Arena on Monday.
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The loss condemned the Strikers to just one win from four games, despite coming into the competition as one of the most exciting prospects.
Captain Brad Hodge admitted Friday's clash represents crunch time for the team.
"We need some wins," he said. "It hasn't really gone to plan so far.
"We've played some good cricket amongst some average stuff so, if we can push the dead wood out and try and get back together and find some winning ways, that's important."
The Strikers will carry the same 13-man squad from Monday night into the clash, while the fifth-placed Hurricanes could be bolstered by the return of former Australian Test paceman Shaun Tait.
Tait, who has gone for a combined 90 runs in his past two games after starting the tournament with a bang, missed Monday's match with an elbow injury.
He has been named in the 13-man squad for Friday night, with a call on his fitness expected to be made closer to game time.