Big Bash League: Bunbury’s Sam Whiteman could make a BBL final appearance against former club Perth Scorchers
Bunbury’s Sam Whiteman could be in line for a shock Big Bash League final appearance, playing against the club with which he won three titles.
Whiteman, who signed with the Sydney Thunder as a local replacement player for captain Usman Khawaja when he was called up for national team duties, has now been released by the club and placed back into the pool of replacement options.
It means he could line up for the Thunder’s cross-town rivals, the Sydney Sixers, in Friday night’s BBL decider against the Perth Scorchers.
The Sixers were ravaged by injuries and positive COVID cases earlier this week, with Whiteman’s Western Australian teammate Josh Phillipe, Daniel Hughes, Jordan Silk and Steven O’Keefe among those to succumb to injuries.
In another blow for the defending champions, Test vice-captain and inaugural club captain Steve Smith’s bid to line up for the Sixers has been denied for a third time.
The Sixers have already employed the help of another West Aussie from the replacement pool, with Whiteman’s former Fremantle Cricket Club opening partner Jake Carder playing for the club in Wednesday’s clash with Adelaide.
He would join Sydney’s Justin Avendano and Brayden Stepien among those to have represented two clubs during the tournament as Cricket Australia continues to negotiate growing case numbers among players and officials.
Whiteman signed an eleventh-hour deal to play for the Thunder, sealing his move away from the Scorchers after a seven-year-stint at the club.
The Scorchers are chasing a record fourth title in the competition, with Whiteman having played in their first three championships.
Meanwhile, Lance Morris’s hopes of a debut Big Bash League final appearance have been dashed, with the emerging quick, from Dunsborough, not included in the Perth Scorchers’ squad for Friday’s decider.
Morris featured for the Scorchers in their final home and away game of the season against the Brisbane Heat at Marvel Stadium last week, but was cut from the match-day squad in favour of returning speedster Jhye Richardson before the finals series began.
The club revealed a 17-player squad on Thursday ahead of the final, with Morris not appearing.
The Scorchers, who are chasing a fourth title from 11 editions of the competition, will face the depleted Sydney Sixers at their nominated home ground of Marvel Stadium.
They finished top of the ladder and have already defeated their opponents three times this summer.
For Morris, the omission brings and end to his debut season in orange, having become one of the first moves of the off-season when he relocated from the Melbourne Stars.
The State-contracted fast bowler, who grew up in Dunsborough and went to school in Bunbury before heading to Perth to join Scarborough, added six games this summer to the seven he played for the Stars.
He finished the season with two wickets — both part of a blistering spell in his side’s first meeting with the Sixers — at 62.5 from 15.3 overs.
Attention now turns to the remainder of the Sheffield Shield season for Morris, although no fixtures have been released for the second half of the season.
The quick played all five Shield games in the first half of the season and has taken 13 wickets from nearly 90 overs.
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