Draft bolters: Hundred influence in new Big Bash faces

There were no shortage of new faces, and surprises, selected in this year's Big Bash drafts

A "forgotten man" and a 1.9m-tall leg-spinner are set to be among 10 overseas players making their Big Bash debuts in Weber WBBL|09 and KFC BBL|13.

The most high-profile is undoubtedly Quinton de Kock, who will become a full-time T20 gun-for-hire after the ODI World Cup in November having announced his intention to retire from the format since being taken by the Melbourne Renegades with the fifth pick in the BBL|13 Draft.

Renowned as one of the most destructive wicketkeeper-batters in world cricket having recently smashed 88no and 87 in the inaugural Major League Cricket finals, de Kock's selection comes as no surprise given as soon as his name was unveiled in the draft pool, one of the eight clubs was bound to pick him up.

Likewise with one-Test England quick Jamie Overton, who, along with his 145kph deliveries that earned him his only international cap so far, has also developed into a true bowling allrounder and a damaging lower-order finisher in the Hundred.

Overton hit 97 from No.8 to rescue England on Test debut last year and smashed a 30-ball 83 that included six sixes for Manchester Originals in this year's Hundred, which no doubt caught the eye of Adelaide Strikers head coach Jason Gillespie who drafted him with the club's second pick.

With many Australian players and coaches in the Hundred – Simon Katich leading the Originals, Mike Hussey the Welsh Fire, Tom Moody the Oval Invincibles, and Trevor Bayliss and Ashley Noffke the London Spirit – it's no surprise the English men's and women's competitions have become a happy hunting ground for recruiters to unearth Big Bash gems.

Perhaps the biggest shock on BBL Draft night was the Thunder's gold-tiered selection of Pakistan fast bowler Zaman Khan.

Like Haris Rauf, another lesser-known Pakistan quick before rising to prominence in the BBL, Zaman hails from the pace factory that is Lahore Qalandars who have developed international fast bowling sensations like Shaheen Shah Afridi under the tutelage of former Pakistan fast bowler Aqib Javed.

However, unlike Rauf, Zaman has already played international cricket before reaching the BBL, debuting for Pakistan in T20s in April this year while also finishing as the fourth-highest wicket-taker in this year's T20 Blast.

The 21-year-old's ability to deceive batters with his yorkers then helped earn him a deal in the Hundred where he played five matches for the Originals.

Another Originals product set to make his BBL debut with Brisbane Heat this season is hard-hitting allrounder Paul Walter.

The 29-year-old has been quietly building a decent T20 record across his eight years with Essex and past two with Manchester, and was Essex's second-leading run-scorer in the 2022 Blast and then topped the Hundred's competition wickets tally the same year with his cutters and slower balls yielding 14 scalps.

Heat head coach Wade Seccombe revealed they after the draft had "stumbled on" Walter.

"We looked at the analytics … saw what he could do, and then we looked at the footage and saw how he was used through the Hundred," he said.

"We're going to get him for the whole tournament, including finals. The more we looked at him, the more we realised he could play a really good role for us, particularly in Brisbane – I think he'll be well suited to our wicket there."

England fast bowlers Lauren Bell and Dani Gibson also earned selection in the inaugural WBBL Draft on the back of strong Hundred campaigns for Southern Brave and London Spirit respectively.

Gibson, who was taken by the Strikers with the first pick of round three, made her international debut in the first T20I of this year's multi-format Ashes series, while Bell finished as England's second-highest wicket-taker in that series, backing up her 14 wickets across the seven matches against Australia with nine in the Hundred at an impressive economy rate of 7.76.

"For us with pick three it was the best available player, batter or bowler, and we thought out of the batting that was left and the bowling, Lauren was the best quality player so we went with the extra bowler this season," Thunder head coach Lisa Keightley said after selecting her with the club's third pick in the draft.

Former England opener Bryony Smith was also in good touch for Trent Rockets in this year's Hundred, finishing as her side's leading run-scorer and forming a formidable opening partnership with Lizelle Lee, which the Hurricanes cited as a reason for taking her in the second round with Lee also set to return to Hobart in WBBL|09.

Tall Pakistan leg-spinner Usama Mir, who the Stars selected in the fourth round to fill the void left by trading out Adam Zampa, was another on song over the English summer with 19 wickets at an economy rate of 7.29 for Worcestershire in the Blast before claiming 4-19 during one of his six games with the Originals.

And emerging leg-spinning allrounder Rehan Ahmed was the Southern Brave's leading spinner in this year's Hundred and having debuted for England in all three formats over the past year, the 19-year-old took 2-27 in his most recent T20I against New Zealand on Tuesday.

Former New Zealand international Corey Anderson may have changed allegiances to the USA, but his 52-ball 91 with seven sixes in the MLC under the guidance of San Fransisco Unicorns coach Shane Watson certainly caught the eye of the allrounder's former Aussie teammate Ricky Ponting, who snapped up the 32-year-old for the Hobart Hurricanes in the third round.

"He's probably been a little bit of a forgotten man around the world the last couple of years," said Ponting, the Hurricanes head of strategy.

"I've worked with him at the Mumbai Indians … I think he'll add a lot to the group.

"He'll give us a couple of overs, he can bat anywhere in the batting order, he's coming off Major League Cricket in the US where he was pretty impressive against some good attacks."