CARIBBEAN PREMIER LEAGUE 2016

Serial winner Dre-Russ a T20 superstar

10 August 2016

Andre Russell - T20 cricket's most valuable commodity? // Getty

Hussey says allrounder is the complete package after he claims a fifth T20 title in 10 months

Pick a national or international Twenty20 tournament anywhere on the planet in the past 10 months and there's a fair chance the name 'Andre Russell' has appeared in the squad list of the championship-winning team.

Incredibly, Russell – a big-hitting, fast-bowling, gun-fielding Jamaican who is built for the T20 game – has collected an unrivalled five trophies in the 20-over format since December last year: the Bangladesh Premier League, the KFC Big Bash League, the Pakistan Super League, the ICC World T20 and just this week, the Caribbean Premier League.

Mike Hussey, who played with Russell during their championship-winning run at the Sydney Thunder in BBL|05, is certain there's no coincidence, suggesting the 28-year-old would be among his first picked in any World T20 team he was to select.

Russell thrills in rapid innings

"I think you're looking for guys who are very good at more than one discipline, and Russell is up there in the top echelon of all three disciplines (batting, bowling and fielding)," Hussey told cricket.com.au.

"That's what makes him so valuable, and such a dangerous player."

Russell was a dominant figure in the BBL last summer for the Thunder, having moved from Melbourne Renegades in what just might have been the best piece of business of the season.

The athletic allrounder exploded in electric green, producing a series of match-turning cameos – including some spectacular grabs in the field.

Russell's really really ridiculously good catch

"He's incredible. He really is," said Hussey. "And he's been battling a bit with an injury as well, so he probably wasn't at his best, which just shows how dynamic he is, with bat, ball and in the field.

"He's the complete T20 player. He got one of the fastest hundreds I've ever seen in that CPL semi-final (from 42 balls against Trinbago Knight Riders), so he's an incredible talent and he's a really good guy as well.

"He's fantastic around the guys and he gives a lot to the team, so I just loved having him around at the Thunder."

Russell's MONSTER six

The only blip on the Russell radar is an upcoming anti-doping hearing over alleged whereabouts-clause violations after he reportedly missed three doping tests in a 12-month period.

Hussey said he was hopeful that the situation could be overcome and fans would again get to see Russell with the Thunder in the BBL this summer.

"We definitely want him back," he added. "He was a vital member of our championship-winning team.

"He's got to get through this 'whereabouts' issue, but talking to him he's confident and hopefully he can get past all that, and fingers crossed we can have him playing for the Thunder again in the summer.

Russell's Big Five – T20 trophies since December 2015

Comilla Victorians (Bangladesh Premier League) – three matches

With the bat: Russell was a coup for the eventual champions in the BPL but had minimal impact with the bat, making a top score of nine from three outings.

With the ball: The right-arm quick got through 8.5 overs and claimed combined figures of 4-62, with a best of 2-9. He didn't appear in the final, which was played just two days prior to his first match with Sydney Thunder in the BBL on December 17.

Sydney Thunder (KFC Big Bash League) – 10 matches

With the bat: 'Explosive' is a word often used to describe Russell, and that's an accurate description of his batting for the Thunder. He only faced 99 balls through the season, but made the majority of them count, blasting 185 runs, including 17 fours and 13 sixes. His best return was a blazing 46 from 20 balls – including this ridiculous 'duck hook'.

Russell's amazing duck hook

With the ball: 'Dre-Russ' took the new ball for the Thunder and almost always made an impact. Hitting speeds in excess of 140kph, the right-arm quick finished with 16 wickets for the tournament – bettered only by teammate Clint McKay (18) across the eight teams.

Islamabad United (Pakistan Super League) – 10 matches

With the bat: Russell only managed 84 runs for the tournament, with his best a typically sprightly cameo of 35no from 20 balls.

With the ball: Dominant. Russell matches his BBL return of 16 wickets and it was enough to see him claim the mantle as the tournament's highest wicket-taker. Three of those came in the final when he claimed a decisive 3-36, including the scalps of middle-order superstars Kevin Pietersen and Kumar Sangakkara.

West Indies (ICC World T20) – 10 matches

With the bat: Russell was again an impact man during the Windies' march to a second ICC World T20 title. From six innings, he clubbed 91 runs with a best of 43no, and was unbeaten half the times he walked to the crease. With a strike-rate of 142.18, he helped provide the lower-order impetus for the eventual champions.

With the ball: The allrounder finished level with Dwayne Bravo and Samuel Badree as the highest wicket-takers for their side – all three claimed nine apiece. Russell's best was 2-23 and he helped restrict England in the final with 1-21 from four overs.

Jamaica Tallawahs (Caribbean Premier League) – 11 matches

With the bat: Russell revelled in his own backyard in the 2016 CPL, delighting those around the Caribbean with 286 runs from just 166 balls faced. He saved his best for the qualifying final, blasting a stunning century from just 42 deliveries, with 11 sixes.

Russell thunders to 42-ball CPL ton

With the ball: Another 11 wickets helped the Tallawahs to the title, including a best of 4-23 as Russell extracted plenty from some relatively flat pitches on the West Indian islands.

You can listen to the full interview with Mike Hussey on the next episode of the Unplayable Podcast

unplayable podcast

Filed Under

Sydney Thunder

West Indies Men

Mike Hussey

Andre Russell

Caribbean Premier League 2016

ICC World T20 - Men

KFC BBL|05

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