Stuart Broad will face the unfamiliar prospect of Australian crowds cheering, rather than jeering, him this summer after the Hobart Hurricanes announced the England fast-bowler as their second overseas signing for BBL|06.
Broad joins the Hurricanes in a bid to reignite his international limited-over career after finding himself out of favour with England selectors in white ball cricket.
The 30-year-old remains a mainstay of the Test side – he’s currently the No.4 ranked Test bowler in the world – and fills the Hobart’s second international slot for BBL|06, joining Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara, who will return to the Apple Isle for another campaign.
Having watched previous editions of the tournament, Broad said he can’t wait to make the trek to Australia for his maiden KFC Big Bash League stint.
“From a personal point of view the BBL looks like a fantastic competition to be involved in,” Broad, who returned from Test duty to take 0-18 from two overs for Nottinghamshire in their England domestic T20 semi-final on Saturday, said.
“Australia is one of my favourite places to play, the pitches and the crowds make for great cricket and atmosphere is fantastic.
“It has been really good to have Hurricanes teammate Dan Christian playing with me at Notts who has been really positive about the Hobart Hurricanes and also the city of Hobart which I’m looking forward to embracing.”
Hurricanes coach Damien Wright is hoping Broad can help them improve on their disappointing BBL|05 campaign, in which they finished seventh.
“Stuart Broad has an incredible record in all three formats and his knowledge of the game overall will be a huge asset for our bowling group going forward," Wright said.
“He will give us great firepower with the ball and will be a fantastic inclusion into our pace attack joining (fast-bowlers) Shaun Tait, Jake Reed and Sam Rainbird.
“We now have two of the biggest names in our game playing for the Hobart Hurricanes and our members & fans should be extremely excited for BBL|06.
“It was key to find someone who could contribute in a big way with the ball & we believe we’ve signed one of the very best to do this.
"He is terrific fella who is determined to do well throughout the Big Bash as well as seeing this as a great opportunity to put himself back in contention for England in the shorter formats of the game."
Broad looks set to be available for the entirety of BBL|06 after his national selectors again left him out of England’s ODI squad for the upcoming five-match series against Pakistan.
England embark on a three-month tour of India over the 2016-17 summer, but while the white-ball segment of the tour overlaps with the BBL schedule, the final Test concludes on December 20, three days before Hobart’s opening match against the Sixers in Sydney.
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It paves the way for Broad, who has 178 ODI wickets at 30.13 and 65 T20 International scalps at 22.93, to demonstrate he remains a force in the shorter forms of the game.
Since England’s disastrous group-stage exit at the 2015 World Cup, he’s played just two ODIs and his most recent T20 international came two-and-a-half years ago.
His stint with the Hurricanes provides the perfect platform for Broad to showcase his limited-over wares as he pushes for inclusion in England’s squad for next year’s ICC Champions Trophy tournament to be played on home soil.
"I’m going to look at scheduling, whether it’s home or abroad, to try to play some white-ball cricket and there might be a decent opportunity after Christmas this year because there’s not a lot of Test cricket then until, I think, July," Broad said after he was overlooked for the ODI series against Sri Lanka in June.
"The only way I’ll get back is by playing white-ball cricket and that’s the only way my skills will improve, too.
"If I suddenly have a belting six weeks of 50-over cricket people might say, 'Actually this bloke can bowl with the white ball. He has got a hundred-odd ODIs behind him and he could still be in the frame.'"
Under director of cricket Andrew Strauss and head coach Trevor Bayliss, overseas domestic T20 leagues are now increasingly being viewed by ECB hierarchy as development opportunities for their elite players.
Adil Rashid starred for the Adelaide Strikers in BBL|05, finishing as the tournament’s second-leading wicket taker, while left-arm quick David Willey also impressed for the Perth Scorchers and has re-signed for another season at The Furnace.
Luke Wright will again line up for the Melbourne Stars, as will England’s fifth all-time Test leading run-scorer, Kevin Pietersen, for his second BBL campaign.
Hobart Hurricanes squad: George Bailey, Cameron Boyce, Stuart Broad (OS), Dan Christian, Ben Dunk, Ben McDermott, Dominic Michael, Simon Milenko, Tim Paine, Sam Rainbird, Jake Reed, Clive Rose, Kumar Sangakkara (OS), Shaun Tait, Jonathan Wells.