Global T20 superstars Andre Russell and Faf du Plessis were sensationally snubbed in the inaugural Big Bash draft, as clubs favoured availability over putting bums on seats.

Englishman Liam Livingstone was selected No.1 by the Melbourne Renegades, while the Adelaide Strikers did not hesitate in retaining the world’s best spinner Rashid Khan when the Melbourne Stars tried to sneak him in at pick No.2.

SCROLL DOWN FOR EVERY PICK AND ALL THE REACTION

However, the fact five platinum names and top drawcards Russell, du Plessis, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and Jason Roy were brushed by every team in the competition was a major blow to Cricket Australia and broadcasters, and may force the league to alter the drafting rules for future installments.

The big shocks started in the second half of the first round when the Perth Scorchers decided to pass on a platinum pick and the Sydney Thunder took the relatively unheralded Englishman David Willey – not the biggest name but the only platinum available for the entire tournament.

With arguably the biggest names in the draft headed up by Russell still on the table, the Ricky Ponting-led Hobart Hurricanes also snubbed them all in favour of classy Pakistan spinner Shadab Khan – another player who will be available for the majority of the competition.

It made for fascinating live television and the clubs have obviously done some exhaustive research to find the best value assets, but in many ways a lot of what the draft was designed to achieve backfired and CA and broadcasters won’t be happy that the household names were overlooked in favour of a lot of players Australian fans haven’t heard of.

One of the main motivations for introducing the draft was to bring big name drawcards into the league and keep clubs accountable for their decisions, particularly at a time when Channel 7 is suing CA and a new broadcast deal is looming.

Du Plessis was on a marketing deal with Cricket Australia so crucial was he to their plans, while Russell is arguably one of the greatest T20 players in history and a proven crowd puller. Pollard and Bravo are IPL legends and Roy is a World Cup-winning giant.

There were chances even for clubs to pounce on Russell and du Plessis in round two as well, but the Brisbane Heat wanted New Zealander Colin Munro for his availability, the Perth Scorchers retained Englishman Laurie Evans for the same reason, and the Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder stayed loyal to James Vince and Alex Hales respectively.

The Stars had Russell last year, but decided no frills Englishman Joe Clarke was more valuable than the IPL multi-millionaire due to him being around for the whole competition.

Ponting admitted his surprise in the first round that Russell had gone unsold, yet still passed ‘Dre Russ’ over again in round two as well for Asif Ali – one of three Pakistanis picked by the Hurricanes.

The draft strategy showcased just how much the new UAE T20 league due to start in mid-January has hurt the Big Bash, because clubs were not willing to take players only available for half the competition.

Teams are prioritising winning over selling tickets, but the snubbing of the big names may not help the Big Bash beat the UAE and South Africa for superstars in the future.

Melbourne Stars tried to pinch Rashid from the Strikers, but didn’t get hurt by losing out, with coach David Hussey calmly selecting New Zealand fast bowling champion Trent Boult instead.

The Brisbane Heat took Englishman Sam Billings with their first pick, with the Thunder declining the chance to retain – instead preferring Willey.

The talk all lead-up was that the defending champion Scorchers would not take a platinum pick, and they stuck true to their plans despite the pressure from broadcasters and CA to give the competition a star injection.

Australian ODI captain and Renegades star Aaron Finch said he was delighted with the selection of all-round star Livingstone with pick one.

“We are very happy. What he offers with the bat is exceptional. He’s got a great record over the last couple of years. What he delivers in the field and with the ball, he’s a great fit for the Renegades,” said Finch on Fox.

“He’s so versatile. Being really flexible up and down the order is so useful in the Big Bash. With the power surge, guys like him are so hard to bowl to. It was a no-brainer for us to go for Liam Livingstone.”

EVERY PICK

ROUND 1 (PLATINUM ONLY)

1. Melbourne Renegades

Liam Livingstone

2. Melbourne Stars

Rashid Khan bid – Strikers RETAIN

3. Melbourne Stars

Trent Boult

4. Brisbane Heat

Sam Billings

5. Sydney Sixers

Chris Jordan

6. Perth Scorchers

PASS

7. Sydney Thunder

David Willey

8. Hobart Hurricanes

Shadab Khan

ROUND 2 (PLATINUM + GOLD)

9. Melbourne Renegades

Mujeeb Ur Rahman – Heat pass

10. Melbourne Stars

Joe Clarke

11. Brisbane Heat

Colin Munro – Scorchers pass

12. Sydney Sixers

Laurie Evans bid – Scorchers RETAIN

13. Sydney Sixers

James Vince

14. Adelaide Strikers

Colin de Grandhomme

15 Sydney Thunder

Alex Hales

16. Hobart Hurricanes

Asif Ali

ROUND 3 (GOLD + SILVER)

17. Hobart Hurricanes

Faheem Ashraf

18. Sydney Thunder

Rilee Russouw – Renegades pass

19. Perth Scorchers

Phil Salt – unable to be retained by Strikers

20. Adelaide Strikers

Adam Hose

21. Sydney Sixers

PASS

22. Brisbane Heat

PASS

23. Melbourne Stars

Luke Wood

24. Melbourne Renegades

PASS

ROUND 4 (SILVER + BRONZE)

25. Melbourne Renegades

Akeal Hosein

26. Melbourne Stars

PASS

27. Brisbane Heat

Ross Whiteley

28. Sydney Sixers

Izharulhaq Naveed

29. Adelaide Strikers

PASS

30. Perth Scorchers

Tymal Mills

31. Sydney Thunder

PASS

32. Hobart Hurricanes

PASS

ALL THE ACTION AS IT HAPPENED

— Dan Batten

Check out every pick as it happens below

8:05pm DRAFT DONE

That’s a wrap! Did you rate your team’s draft night? There was certainly some shocks throughout as franchises valued availability over star power with five platinum players left on the board. Personally, I’m looking forward to what the Pakistani trio at the Hurricanes can do and I liked the Renegades’ selections of Luke Livingstone and spinners Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Akeal Hosein, along with the Thunder in snaring David Willey, Rilee Russouw while holding onto Alex Hales. And the Scorchers’ haul could prove to be strong despite passing on their first round pick, taking English trio Laurie Evans, Phil Salt and Tymal Mills.

Thanks for tuning in and be sure to catch our BBL and KFC SuperCoach BBL content leading up to the season!

7:58 WHO IS OUT OF ACTION?

The Stars, Hurricanes, Thunder and Strikers are out of action in the final round with this quartet having selected their full complement of three players.

7:51 SURPRISES IN THIRD ROUND

Availability has been the order of the day for teams at the first BBL draft, with a number of big names overlooked for BBL debutants. English cricketers Adam Hose and Luke Wood were both snared in the third round, while Phil Salt — who has plied his trade with the Strikers — will join the Scorchers. Adelaide was unable to retain him after already using their retention pick on Rashid Khan at pick No.2. Meanwhile, former Renegade Rilee Russouw was snapped up by the Thunder.

7:41pm PAKISTANI TRIO AT CANES

The Hurricanes have taken their third Pakistani player with Faheem Ashraf joining Shadab Khan and Ashraf Ali at Hobart. An interesting tactic from Ricky Ponting and the selection panel at the Canes — will it pay off?

7:35pm MARQUEE NAMES SNUBBED

Faf du Plessis was touted to be one of the first names taken — but he and several other marquee ‘platinum’ players have been left undrafted, with platinum players only able to be taken in the first and second rounds. West Indies T20 behemoths Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and Englishman Jason Roy were also left on the board,

7:28pm CANES PICK BOLTER

Arguably the biggest bolter of the draft, the Hurricanes have taken Pakistani batter Asif Ali, who strikes at 147 from his 232 T20 matches. Ricky Ponting saying that a priority for the Canes has been picking characters, and that draftees Ali and Shadab Khan tick the boxes.

7:25pm THUNDER TAKES HALES

Alex Hales is back at the Thunder following his dominant BBL11 season.

7:20pm RIVALS BID ON SCORCHERS STARS

Brisbane Heat have swooped on another player from a rival team, taking batter Colin Munro — and the Scorchers have opted not to match. The Sixers then bidded on Laurie Evans, who has been retained by the Scorchers

7:17pm MELBOURNE TEAMS TAKE SECOND PICK

Tidy spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman has landed at the Renegades after being passed up as a retention pick by the Heat, while the Stars have rewarded Englishman Joe Clarke for his stellar BBl11 campaign. He was a top-10 run scorer while striking at 150.

7:05pm EVERY PICK OF THE FIRST ROUND

1. Melbourne Renegades

Liam Livingstone

2. Melbourne Stars

Rashid Khan bid – Strikers RETAIN

3. Melbourne Stars

Trent Boult

4. Brisbane Heat

Sam Billings

5. Sydney Sixers

Chris Jordan

6. Perth Scorchers

PASS

7. Sydney Thunder

David Willey

8. Hobart Hurricanes

Shadab Khan

7:03pm SPINNER GOES TO CANES

With the final pick of the first round, the Hurricanes have chosen Pakistani leg-spinner Shadab Khan. It means Andre Russell remains on the board.

7:00pm THUNDER TAKES ENGLISH ALL-ROUNDER

After passing up Sam Billings, the Thunder has taken English all-rounder David Willey who is available for the entire tournament.

6:57pm: MOISES’ BRUTAL SLEDGE

“He’s easy money on the golf course.”

Moises Henriques has ripped Chris Jordan, who will re-join the Sixers after an impressive campaign for them in BBL11

6:55pm HEAT MAKE SURPRISE BID

Sam Billings has moved to the Heat! The Thunder have opted not to retain the ‘keeper-batter, who was their best player in last year’s BBL.

6:50pm STRIKERS RETAIN KHAN

The Stars have bidded on Rashid Khan at pick No.2, but the Strikers have used their retention pick to snare the man synonymous with the Adelaide Strikers. And the Stars have gone with Trent Boult, who should add plenty to their fast bowling stocks, which were lacking in BBL11.

6:48pm GADES TAKE LIVINGSTONE WITH FIRST PICK

The Gades have opted not to bid on Rashid Khan at pick one and have chosen destructive batter Liam Livingstone, who was striking at 180 in the IPL earlier this year.

6:44pm NEARLY READY TO GO

Who will Huss and the Stars take at pick 2?

6:32PM: BBL DRAFT KICKING OFF VERY SOON

Welcome to our coverage of the BBL Draft! It is sure to be an interesting night, my name is Dan Batten and I’ll be here to guide you through the draft tonight.

A lot of intrigue surround who will go at No.1 — will it be a bid on Rashid Khan, or other international stars like Faf du Plessis or Liam Livingstone?

We’ll find out soon enough!

Originally published as BBL international draft 2022: Clubs choose availability over big names in major blow to broadcasters, Cricket Australia

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