MELBOURNE Stars president Eddie McGuire is urging Cricket Australia to allow all four Big Bash League semi-finalists to select full-strength teams next week, including James Pattinson for the Stars, to take advantage of the four-day gap in the ODI series.
The Stars qualified for the semi-finals by snatching a 13-run victory over Sydney Thunder on Tuesday night but may have to cope with a depleted squad.
David Hussey, Glenn Maxwell and Clint Mckay have been withdrawn due to ODI duty, joining Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga, while wicketkeeper Matthew Wade has been rested on the insistence of national selectors.
Pattinson has fully overcome the rib injury he suffered last month and will make his return at the weekend via club cricket for Dandenong.
The Stars will play their semi-final on Tuesday or Wednesday next week against a yet-to-be-confirmed opponent. While Australia does not play its third ODI against Sri Lanka until the following Friday, CA is yet to decide whether to temporarily release squad members for the BBL.
A decision is likely to be influenced by which team hosts the second semi-final and the distance affected ODI players would have to travel the following day to get to Brisbane to face Sri Lanka.
McGuire acknowledged the overlap between the BBL and the ODIs was a ”growing-pains situation for the competition” but hoped CA administrators, selectors and the BBL teams could be united in ”allowing our best-possible teams” to play. ”Whoever wins now out of the four teams deserves to win by being the best team, not because they were lucky because they didn’t have blokes in their line-up who weren’t good enough to qualify to play for Australia,” he said. ”You can’t tell me this isn’t better than a net session [before an ODI], playing hard competitive cricket. You’re only bowling four overs at the most. You bowl more in the nets.
”Ultimately, we need to get the fixturing right. I think there should be a window for the Big Bash. It’s proven that if you get the [best] players on the field, as we did the other night, it’s exciting cricket and people love it. It doesn’t attack Test cricket, it doesn’t attack one-day cricket or the Australian team.
”But we need to be able to find some clear air for everybody.”
While the Stars are hopeful of being able to select Hussey, Mckay, Maxwell and possibly Wade for their semi-final, McGuire said if that request was blocked CA should allow Pattinson to play.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.