BBL deadline could hurt import signings

Big Bash teams could miss out on signing a third star import for the coming BBL season, paid for by Cricket Australia, if they can’t secure a big name signature in the coming days.

After negotiations for months the Australian Cricketers Association relented on its opposition to an extra overseas player turning out for each team and clubs have been furiously trying to find big-name players willing to come for the two month tournament.

The Melbourne Renegades confirmed the signing of Mohammad Nabi, the number one ranked T20 all-rounder in the world, hot on the heels of the Hobart Hurricanes securing Englishman Dawid Malan, the top ranked T20 batsman.

Nabi isn’t however the Renegades “marquee” signing, and the Melbourne outfit is racing the clock to sign a player in time to firstly get approval from CA, and also to meet what is looming as a strict process around their entry in to Australia.

If players can’t be secured in coming days, there is a chance they wouldn’t be able to meet biosecurity requirements in time for the start of the tournament in early December.

It’s understood CA also wants bang for its buck from any players who will be paid by the governing body outside of the $1.8 million salary cap, and would have the right to “veto” anyone who didn’t meet their criteria.

That means someone like South African legend AB de Villiers who brought masses through the gates during his stint with the Brisbane Heat last summer should be a target.

South African great Dale Steyn was a huge hit for the Melbourne Stars in last year’s BBL . (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)Source:AAP

There are issues however with player availability, and those superstars currently playing in the Indian Premier League could be hard to lure to Australia having already spend significant time in quarantine bubbles, and away from home.

A new Sri Lankan T20 competition in December, which has signed West Indian star Andre Russell, is another impediment to the absolute best players coming to the BBL.

The Renegades have re-signed Nabi, currently playing in the IPL with David Warner’s Sunrisers, for a fourth BBL season.

“I have always enjoyed my time with the Renegades and testing myself against some of the best T20 players in the world in the Big Bash. I’m very pleased to have re-signed for a fourth season,” Nabi said.

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Renegades Coach Michael Klinger said Nabi provided the team with added flexibility.

“He can bat and bowl in a number of different situations and he reads the game so well,” Klinger said.

“We’ll again be looking for Nabi to play a key role in our middle order and he’ll be called upon to bowl some important overs.”

The BBL is expected to be pushed back at leats a week from it’s original start date of December 3.

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