Adelaide Strikers coach Jason Gillespie has declared his desire to lure disgruntled star Rashid Khan to return next season with the signature of star slugger Chris Lynn also a “work in progress”.
The departure of both stars at the back-end of the BBL season contributed to the Strikers missing the finals for the first time in four seasons, which Gillespie labelled “heartbreaking”.
Khan, the leading international wicket taker in the BBL , has also questioned his return after Australia cancelled a one-day series against his Afghanistan leading to backlash from his cricket board and several teammates.
Gillespie said he was hopeful of re-signing all overseas players including Khan, Adam Hose and Colin de Grandhomme for next season.
“I love continuity and would love to explore what they are doing, but there are a lot of unknowns,” he said.
The potential for a shortened season next year, with the BBL set to lost 18 games in the first year of the next broadcast deal in 2025, could impact all signings.
“I do understand that it is a long season but I’ve often said there’s no reason why we can’t play back-to-back days,” he said.
“We contract 18 players so you have strength in depth and when you have big enough gaps between games in the current system, players have got enough time to recover and be fresh for the next day.
“By and large players don’t want to be rested, I’ll give you the strong tip.
“But if you did condense it and kept the 14 (games per team), you probably wouldn’t have a choice – you’d have to rest and rotate players a little bit.”
The return of Lynn remains a high priority for the Strikers, despite his exit for the final three games playing it’s part in five straight losses to finish the season..
Lynn experienced a resurgence after moving to Adelaide this summer, before cutting his stint short to head to the UAE for the inaugural International League T20 where he is currently playing for the Gulf Giants.
Despite missing the last three matches of the BBL season, Lynn is still ranked third in the competition for runs (416).
“Obviously we’ve got a few unknowns about the length of the season, what other tournaments are around, what’s the structure of getting overseas players – is it going to be another draft or whatever? So there’s a lot of things to unpack,” Gillespie said.
“If we can find a way to make it (re-signing Lynn) work, we’d certainly look to explore it, but there’s so many of these leagues popping up every bloody day.
“He’s been in constant contact with us … he’s still checking in wishing the boys all the best.
“He genuinely loved his time with us.”
The Strikers missed out on the finals for the first time in four years this season after losing their final game to the Melbourne Renegades on Tuesday night, and Gillespie described it as a “bitter pill to swallow”.
“It’s heartbreaking … we’re so much better than we showed,” he said.
“We just haven‘t been able to find a way in critical moments in games throughout the season to get the job done which is which is disappointing.”