The 2020-21 edition of the Big Bash League, BBL 2020-21, will get under underway from December 10. The opening match of the T20 event will take place between Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney Sixers at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart.
Sydney Sixers are the defending champions of the BBL, having defeated Melbourne Stars by 19 runs in the final at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) last season. Perth Scorchers are the most successful franchise, having won the BBL on three occasions.
While the Scorchers also hold the record for having made the most final appearances (5), five other franchises have won the BBL at least once. The Sydney Sixers won the inaugural season (2011–12) and well as the most recent edition of the tournament (2019–20).
The Brisbane Heat registered their only BBL win till date in the 2012-13 season. The Sydney Thunder, the Adelaide Strikers, and the Melbourne Renegades won the tournament in the 2015-16, 2017-18, 2018-19 seasons, respectively.
Just a few days back, the organizers announced three rule changes for the BBL 2020-21 season with an aim to make the tournament even more exciting. It remains to be seen how the changes impact the performance of players in the franchise.
Every year, the BBL has produced some memorable batting performances from batsmen across franchises. In this feature, we take a look at the highest run-getters in each BBL season.
Meet the top run-scorers in each BBL season
#1. BBL 2011-12: Travis Birt (Hobart Hurricanes) -- 345 runs
Travis Birt, the former left-handed batsman, scored 345 runs in eight games for Hobart Hurricanes in the BBL 2011-12 season. Birt’s runs came at a strike rate of 168.29 and an average of 43.12 with three fifties.
He was the man of the match for his 41-ball 65 against Sydney Sixers, which the Hurricanes won by 42 runs. Birt smashed 74 off only 36 balls against Brisbane Heat. However, Hurricanes faltered at the end to lose by three runs as Birt was run out off the penultimate ball.
Birt blasted 51 off only 23 balls in a 19-run defeat to Melbourne Stars. He managed only 11 in the semi-final against Sydney Sixers as the Hurricanes went down by seven runs.
#2. BBL 2012-13: Shaun Marsh (Perth Scorchers) -- 412 runs
Veteran left-hander Shaun Marsh was the star performer for Perth Scorchers in BBL 2012-13 with 412 runs in nine matches at a strike rate of 128.75 and an average of 58.85 with as many as five fifties.
Marsh began BBL 2012-13 with 57 from 45 against Adelaide Strikers in a losing cause. He was named the man of the match for his scintillating 85 from 52 balls against Melbourne Renegades. Another unbeaten half-century followed in a nine-wicket thrashing of Sydney Thunder.
In the second match against Adelaide Strikers, Marsh starred with 79 from 60 balls as the Scorchers registered a comprehensive 98-run triumph. The left-hander carried on his impressive run with a 40-ball 68 in the semi-final against Melbourne Stars.
Marsh, though, faltered in the final versus Brisbane Heat. He fell for 16 as Heat lifted the title following a 34-run victory.
#3. BBL 2013-14: Ben Dunk (Hobart Hurricanes) -- 395 runs
Dashing wicket-keeper batsman Ben Dunk was the leading run-scorer in BBL 2013-14, scoring 395 runs in 10 matches at a strike rate of 145.75 with three fifties at an average of 43.88.
Dunk earned the man of the match for his brilliant 67 from 33 against defending champs Brisbane Heat in a successful chase of 210. He slammed 96 from 54 with five sixes in a thumping 73-run triumph over Sydney Thunder.
The left-hander played another fine hand of 87 from 53 versus Brisbane Heat again, this time in a 40-run triumph.
Dunk, however, faltered in the final against Perth Scorchers. He was dismissed for 17 as Hobart Hurricanes fell short in the chase of 192.
#4. BBL 2014-15: Michael Klinger (Perth Scorchers) -- 326 runs
The BBL legend was the leading run-getter in the 2014-15 season with 326 runs in 10 games at a strike rate of 129.36 and an average of 36.22 with one hundred and one fifty.
Michael Klinger smashed an unbeaten 105 from 60 against Melbourne Renegades in a match Perth Scorchers won by 35 runs. After a few low scores, he roared back with a 71 from 48 versus Melbourne Stars in a three-wicket defeat.
Klinger failed in the semi-final against Melbourne Stars, but made a crucial 33 in the final versus Sydney Sixers as Perth Scorchers won their second BBL title in a row.
#5. BBL 2015-16: Chris Lynn (Brisbane Heat) -- 378 runs
The aggressive Chris Lynn had a rollicking BBL season with Brisbane Heat in 2015-16. In eight games, he notched up 378 runs at a strike rate of 173.39 with one hundred and three fifties.
After a couple of poor games, skipper Lynn smashed an unbeaten 75 from 58 balls, but Brisbane Heat still lost to Perth Scorchers by nine wickets. Lynn then blasted 101 off 51 deliveries against Hobart Hurricanes, an innings that went in vain again.
Lynn’s sizzling 75 from 32 with six sixes, finally saw them overcome Sydney Thunder. The big-hitter signed off with 56 from 24 against Melbourne Stars, but Brisbane Heat failed to make the semi-finals.
#6. BBL 2016-17: Ben Dunk (Adelaide Strikers) -- 364 runs
Ben Dunk was the leading run-scorer for the second time in BBL in 2016-17, this time for Adelaide Strikers. He totaled 364 runs in eight matches at a strike rate of 163.96 with three fifties.
Dunk kicked off his series with a stunning 43-ball 85 in a losing cause to Brisbane Heat. He was the man of the match for his unbeaten 79 from 49 against Hobart Hurricanes.
His third fifty was a 40-ball 65 in a massive win over Sydney Thunder. Adelaide Strikers, however, failed to qualify for the semi-finals.
#7. BBL 2017-18: D'Arcy Short (Hobart Hurricanes) -- 572 runs
D'Arcy Short had a terrific BBL 2017-18 with 572 runs in 11 matches at a strike rate 148.57 with one hundred and four fifties.
He smashed 97 from 63 in the triumph against Sydney Thunder and 96 from 58 against Adelaide Strikers. After narrowly missing out on a three-figure score twice, he finally got there against Brisbane Heat, smashing an unbeaten 122 from 69 balls with six sixes.
Short made a valiant 68 from 44 in the final against Adelaide Strikers. However, Brisbane Heat were set a mammoth 203 to win the trophy, and fell short by 25 runs.
#8. BBL 2018-19: D'Arcy Short (Hobart Hurricanes) -- 637 runs
D'Arcy Short topped the run-scoring charts for the second season in a row during BBL 2018-19. This time, Short amassed 637 runs in 15 matches at a strike rate of 140.61 and an average of 53.08 with as many as six fifties.
Short began with 67 from 52 in a 15-run win over Brisbane Heat. His 58, featuring three sixes, was a supporting role in a seven-wicket triumph over Sydney Thunder. Short put in a man-of-the-match-winning effort, smashing 64 from 42 in a chase of 162 against Sydney Sixers.
Later, against Melbourne Stars, he blasted an unbeaten 96 from 57 in a thumping win. An unbeaten 73 followed versus Adelaide Strikers in a 10-wicket triumph.
Short’s brilliant efforts resulted in Hobart Hurricanes making the semi-finals. However, he was dismissed for 35 in the semis against Melbourne Stars, who went on to win the contest by six wickets.
#9. BBL 2019-20: Marcus Stoinis (Melbourne Stars) -- 705 runs
If ever there was a record-breaking performance in BBL, this was it. In 17 matches for Melbourne Stars, all-rounder Marcus Stoinis raked up 705 runs at a strike rate of 136.62 and an average of 54.23 with one hundred and six fifties.
He blasted the highest individual score in the BBL, smashing an unbeaten 147 from 79 balls against Sydney Sixers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Stoinis hit 13 fours and eight sixes in his knock to go past D’Arcy Short’s record of 122 as the Stars registered a 44-run triumph.
Some of his other impressive knocks were an unbeaten 81 off 54 against Hobart Hurricanes and 62 off 37 versus Sydney Sixers in a losing cause.
In the Challenger against Sydney Thunder, Stoinis carried on his great form, blasting 83 from 54. He failed in the final against Sydney Sixers though, perishing for 10, as the Melbourne Stars went down by 19 runs in the BBL 2019-20 final.