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BBL players to watch in 2016-17

AAP logoAAP 12/12/2016

WHO's WHO IN THE 2016-17 BBL:

ADELAIDE STRIKERS

* Travis Head

The South Australian captain cemented his spot in the Aussie ODI side with a couple of half centuries against New Zealand. He lit up last year's BBL with an average of 42.71 and the competition's fifth highest run total. He looks set to miss the second half of the campaign on national duties but will be key to the Striker's chances.

BRISBANE HEAT

* Brendon McCullum

Responsible for two of the top four Twenty20 innings of all time (both 158 not out), the retired New Zealand skipper sure knows how to swing a bat. He'll provide real firepower and an added dimension to the Heat who have previously relied too much on Chris Lynn.

HOBART HURRICANES

* Stuart Broad

The Pommie paceman is usually public enemy No.1 in Australia during Ashes series and his performance in Trent Bridge last year was the catalyst for the national side's darkest moment in memory. Not a part of the English limited overs tour of India, he's likely to be available for the whole tournament.

MELBOURNE RENEGADES

* James Pattinson

The Australian pace thoroughbred will make his long-awaited return from injuries incurred during February's Test series against New Zealand and the cricketing community will watch with much interest. The thought of him teaming up with Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins in an Aussie pace attack will have fans salivating.

MELBOURNE STARS

* Kevin Pietersen

KP has been keeping himself busy playing in the CSA T20 Challenge in his native South Africa where he has made a handful of handy scores. He was the third highest run scorer in last season's BBL with 323 at 40.37 and strike rate of 159.

PERTH SCORCHERS

* Mitchell Johnson

After walking into the sunset following last year's Perth Test, the Australian fast bowling legend is back to terrorise batsman once again. But the question remains, will he be able to get back to anywhere near top speed after 12 months away from the game? Regardless, he adds real star power.

SYDNEY SIXERS

* Moises Henriques

It's easy to forget the Sixers captain averaged 57 in last year's BBL. After starting the tournament like a rocket, his campaign was cut short when he tore a calf muscle against the Stars. With the side set to be battered by national call-ups, Henriques will need to do a lot of heavy lifting.

SYDNEY THUNDER

* Andre Russell

In last year's loss to the Hurricanes the West Indian allrounder showed why he's such an excitement machine. His diving catch to dismiss Dan Christian was the grab of the summer and he then launched a six into the top tier of the Bellerive Oval stand. His participation is under a cloud after a run-in with drug testers but he's proclaimed his innocence and is hoping to be cleared.

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