Cricket 2022: Zampa in line for Stars captaincy

The Big Bash League is going to be missing some star power with Mitch Marsh ruled out of the tournament, while the legendary Glenn Maxwell is expected to be sidelined for most of the campaign.

But it has opened the door for some of Australia’s brightest prospects to step up, with an Aussie Test hopeful firming to take over the captaincy role at the Stars while Maxwell recovers from a broken leg.

The Stars will desperately miss his impact given he holds the record for the highest score in a BBL innings (154 not out off just 64 deliveries), while he’s also hit the second most sixes, scored the third most runs and taken the most catches from 100 appearances.

Replacing what he does on the field is impossible, while it will also be very hard to find someone as tactically sound as the electrifying all-rounder.

However, the door is open for Adam Zampa to take charge, and it’s a role the spinner has done in the past when Maxwell was out with Covid earlier in the year.

While David Warner appears unlikely to get the Sydney Thunder captaincy, Zampa is firming to be picked as the Stars skipper given his wealth of experience in T20 cricket.

“It’s going to be a huge loss tactically for us, but I know Adam Zampa is very keen to become a captain and Marcus Stoinis feels the same way,” Stars veteran Hilton Cartwright said at the BBL launch in Sydney.

“It’ll be interesting to see how those guys step up in leadership roles and how the team works under a different leadership style because we all know what ‘Maxi’ can do.

“No one in Australian or world cricket can do what he does. He’s also got a wealth of knowledge of all the different playing conditions across Australia and has a wealth of knowledge on all the players and how to captain against them.”

Across town, the Renegades were dealt a massive blow when No.1 one draft pick Liam Livingstone pulled out of the BBL because of international commitments, but they’re not panicking.

They’ve signed international guns Andre Russell and Martin Guptill, while a local kid is ready to become a genuine star according to a Victorian teammate.

Will Sutherland’s BBL numbers are modest but his form this season has been incredible, with the tall all-rounder claiming career-best match figures of 9/115 to go with some crucial first innings runs to help Victoria beat NSW in the Shield.

His ability to swing the ball coupled with his capacity to clear fences with ease makes him a dual threat who should have a breakout season in red.

“It was hard to get the ball out of his hands in both innings, and for him to bowl the most overs out of all the quicks was a really impressive effort,” Nic Maddinson said of Sutherland’s efforts against the Blues.

“The consistency of his pace has really gone up this year and I feel like he’s steaming in for longer periods. He also reads the game quite well for a pretty young player.

“It’s why I’m tipping he’ll have a big season for us.”

While the Melbourne teams are hoping to get back in the finals, Perth’s title defence has been rocked with key injuries to Marsh and Phil Salt, while import Laurie Evans had his contract terminated after he tested positive to a banned substance.

Losing someone like Marsh – the team’s leading run-scorer – is devastating, but it means a guy like Aaron Hardie can stake his claim as the team’s best all-rounder after showing glimpses of his potential last season.

“I’m going to get a lot of opportunities this season given some of the names that are missing out,” he said.

“Mitch plays a role that I’d love to be able to play in the future. He bats high up the order, smacks the ball everywhere and can bowl a few overs as well. I’ve been watching him quite closely over the past few years and I’d love to step into that role.

“Mitch will be around because he absolutely loves the Big Bash and the Perth Scorchers. That’s one of the benefits of not being in hubs anymore because in previous years, he would have had to have stayed away.

“That’s great for me because it means I can chat with him a lot about hopefully taking over his role.”

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