It was a bitter pill to swallow for the Hurricanes, who at the halfway point of the tournament were flying, with just two losses from their first seven matches. The ‘Canes also finished on the same number of wins – seven from 14 games – as finalists the Brisbane Heat and the Adelaide Strikers, but missed out due to a poor net run rate (-0.19).
The Bash Boost Point – a new rule introduced for the 10th edition of the tournament – also had a say in the make-up of the finals fixture with the Heat - despite finishing on the same number of wins as both the Strikers and the Hurricanes – being a point higher, courtesy of the Bash Boost. With a lower net run rate that both of the aforementioned (-0.29), it meant the Heat had to win their final game of the regular season against the red-hot Perth Scorchers with the Bash Boost point to even be in with a chance of making it through to the finals. However, they stood up to the pressure, and cemented a six run win with the Bash Boost Point – one of a myriad of things to rain on the Hurricanes’ potential finals parade.
However, there were also a large number of positives and individual accolades to come out of the tournament for the Hurricanes. Ten players made their Hurricanes debut in BBL|10; Tim David, Peter Handscomb, Colin Ingram, Will Jacks, Sandeep Lamichhane, Dawid Malan, Mitch Owen, Wil Parker, Keemo Paul and Nick Winter. Five of these were international recruits, whilst five players also played in the tournament for the first time during BBL|10. One of these was 19-year-old Tasmanian, Mitch Owen, a sign that the future of Tasmanian cricket is well and truly bright.
Ben McDermott also received one of the highest accolades a BBL player can receive, when he was unanimously named in the KFC BBL|10 Team of the Tournament, as nominated by all eight BBL Head Coaches. McDermott notched a total of 402 runs across the tournament – the sixth highest of the competition – despite missing the first two games whilst playing in Sydney for Australia A against India.
McDermott, along with Riley Meredith, D’Arcy Short and Matthew Wade, also received Australian honours, with the Hurricanes quartet named in the Australian squad to travel to New Zealand for a five-match T20I series later this month.
Other standout Hurricanes for the tournament included Scott Boland, who bowled 140 dot balls for BBL|10; the second highest number behind the competition’s leading quick in Jhye Richardson. Nathan Ellis was also excellent with the ball for the Hurricanes, taking 20 wickets at an economy rate of 8.31 for the tournament. This saw him ranked fifth in the league’s tally of overall wicket takers.
Speaking the day after his side’s narrow loss to the Renegades, Hurricanes Head Coach, Adam Griffith, didn’t hide his disappointment.
“I’m really disappointed…a bit flat to be honest. I think it was a great opportunity for us, not only [Tuesday] to get into the finals, but probably [there were] a couple of missed opportunities through the tournament, where we would not have had ourselves in that position to have to win that game [against the Renegades] to qualify. I thought we were a couple of games away from being up in the top couple, so that’s probably the most disappointing thing from my end - not just yesterday but all season.”
It was a season like no other, with all players and team personnel in a bio-secure hub environment for almost two months, including over the Christmas period. However, Griffith, was far from blaming that, or injuries, for his side’s overall performance.
“Everyone goes through the same,” he explained simply. “We had a mantra this tournament about controlling what we can control and focussing on that, and I thought the boys were really good with that. Everyone has the same [things happen to them and] it’s not an excuse for us.”
Griffith added a message to the club’s members and supporters.
“From from the supporters’ perspective, we’re hurting as much as what they are at the moment. I think what we also what we need to keep in mind is it’s such a good competition…every team has a really good list. We go into a season thinking we’ve got a great list, and we have to because we believe that, but every other team thinks the same. We’re one performance away from finishing second or third on the ladder and getting into finals, it’s just those couple of moments where we didn’t quite come through for the tournament and that’s disappointing…[it’s] just one of those seasons where we let a couple of chances slip.
“But we urge them [our supporters] to stay with us, and we know that the true supporters will. We know that the true supporters who support the Hurricanes will stick with us through these times and hopefully we come out better for it at the other end.”
The Tasmanian men’s program will now have a short break before returning to training in preparation for the remainder of the 2020-21 Marsh Sheffield Shield and Marsh One Day Cup competitions.