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Big names signed on the dotted line and more than half committed to multi-year deals as teams battled for signatures during the KFC T20 Big Bash League Signing Window. Fan favourites including David Hussey, Pat Cummins, Mitch Marsh, Brett Lee, Brad Hodge and Callum Ferguson, as well as internationals Luke Wright, Johan Botha and Owais Shah, were among the high profile players who signed with their respective teams for BBL|02 and beyond.
"We expected there'd be a lot more competition for signatures this year and that has been the case, particularly with teams now able to sign players to multi-year contracts," KFC T20 Big Bash League Manager Anthony Everard said. "What we've seen over the past two weeks is that teams have done a lot work after BBL|01 to further develop their recruiting strategies and target players from outside their existing squads who they believe will help build long-term success.
"As well as stability for teams and players, the multi-year deals are also very important for fans because it now gives them certainty about the players who will wear their team's colours this season and beyond.
"Now is also the perfect time for fans to get behind their favourite team by becoming a member. Memberships offer the best value for fans and are the only way to guarantee access to home matches."
Another feature of the signings so far has been the have been the number of players enticed to move teams. Fifteen players have also signed to play BBL for the first time. The biggest changes so far have been at the Melbourne Renegades and Sydney Thunder with nine and Perth Scorchers with eight.
With the exception of David Warner, all of Australia's T20 squad for the VB Tour of the UAE has signed with teams and three have found new homes. Captain George Bailey has signed to play for the Hobart Hurricanes, Cummins is heading west to link with the Perth Scorchers while Glenn Maxwell has moved cross-town to join the Melbourne Stars.
Muttiah Muralidaran, Albie Morkel, Sunil Narine and Kemar Roach are the four new international signings to join Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Herschelle Gibbs, Daniel Vettori, Wright, Shahid Afridi, Botha and Shah, who all return for second seasons with their respective teams. More international players are expected to join this group before the tournament starts.
Perth Scorchers are the only team to have completed their list. Changes to the BBL|01 runners-up are highlighted by South Africa international Morkel, Aussie pace ace Cummins and the return of Adam Voges to Western Australia.
There are still 25 spots on the seven other squads still to be filled as teams finalise their 18 players by 30 November before the opening ball of BBL|02 on 7 December between the Renegades and Stars at Etihad Stadium.
After 30 November, teams will be able to replace players (in certain approved circumstances) after consideration by the KFC T20 Big Bash League Technical Committee.
New Homes (players switching teams):
Jon Holland, Phillip Hughes, Andrew McDonald, Michael Neser, Nathan Reardon, Shaun Tait (Adelaide Strikers)
Shane Watson, Luke Pomersbach (Brisbane Heat)
George Bailey, Aiden Blizzard, Doug Bollinger, Ed Cowan, Ben Dunk (Hobart Hurricanes)
Tom Cooper, Daniel Harris, James Muirhead, Peter Nevill, Aaron O'Brien, Nathan Rimmington, Ben Rohrer (Melbourne Renegades)
Brad Hodge, Glenn Maxwell (Melbourne Stars)
Tim Armstrong, Pat Cummins, Tom Triffitt, Adam Voges, (Perth Scorchers)
Josh Lalor, Daniel Smith, (Sydney Sixers)
Shahid Afridi, Cameron Borgas, Ryan Carters, Mark Cosgrove, Rhett Lockyear, Dirk Nannes (Sydney Thunder)
Welcome to the BBL (new players):
James Smith (Strikers)
Kemar Roach, Cameron Gannon (Heat)
Timm van der Gugten (Hurricanes)
Clive Rose (Stars)
Darren Pattinson (Renegades)
Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Joe Mennie, Albie Morkel (Scorchers)
Kurtis Patterson, Sunil Narine (Sixers)
Adam Coyte, Gurinder Sandhu, Chris Tremain (Thunder)
Johan Botha, Kieron Pollard (Strikers)
Kemar Roach, Daniel Vettori (Heat)
Owais Shah (Hurricanes)
Herschelle Gibbs, Albie Morkel (Scorchers)
Muttiah Muralidaran (Renegades)
Luke Wright (Stars)
Sunil Narine (Sixers)
Shahid Afridi, Chris Gayle (Thunder)
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