The BBL fireworks are about to light up the summer in Australia, both on and off the field.
While the BBL has been chastised in recent seasons for a lack of elite T20 players, the likes of Alex Hales, Tymal Mills, and Rashid Khan bring a strong international flavour to the tournament.
Locally, emerging stars such as Josh Inglis, Josh Phillippe, and Ollie Davies are expected to continue their meteoric rise alongside established names such as Glenn Maxwell and Chris Lynn.
Here's how all eight clubs shape up heading into the new season, team by team.
Coach: Jason Gillespie
Squad: Travis Head (c), Wes Agar, Fawad Ahmed, Alex Carey, Harry Conway, George Garton, Ryan Gibson, Spencer Johnson, Rashid Khan, Harry Nielsen, Liam O’Connor, Matt Renshaw, Liam Scott, Matt Short, Peter Siddle, Jake Weatherald, Jon Wells, Daniel Worrall.
George Garton, the English left-armer, joins the franchise who made the playoffs last year with an impressive record in short-form cricket and is a genuine new ball wicket-taker who could complement the likes of Peter Siddle, Rashid and Daniel Worrall. Along with his incisive bowling, he adds much needed big hitting to the Strikers’ lower order.
The Adelaide Strikers have also added the veteran wrist spinner Fawad Ahmed who had a modest last season, this time around though coupled with Rashid Khan expect better performances from him.
Any team has a chance to succeed with Jason Gillespie at the helm. Travis Head and Alex Carey's availability will be limited, but they have a strong all-round squad capable of making it to the finals.
Coach: Wade Seccombe
Squad: Tom Abell, Xavier Bartlett, James Bazley, Max Bryant, Tom Cooper, Ben Duckett, Sam Heazlett, Matt Kuhnemann, Marnus Labuschagne, Chris Lynn, Michael Neser, Jimmy Pierson (c), Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mark Steketee, Connor Sully, Mitchell Swepson, Jack Wildermuth, Matthew Willans.
After surprising many with a third-place finish last season, the Heat have kept the majority of their roster together this summer.
They have added Tom Abell and Ben Duckett to their roster. Abell is coming off a fantastic Vitality Blast season in which he scored 295 runs in six games at a strike rate of 161.20, including four half-centuries to help Somerset reach the final.
Ben Duckett, the left-hander who had good recent seasons in “The Hundred” and the T20 blast will further strengthen the Heat middle order with his skills versus spin. He regularly marmalises spin bowling with his sweeps and reverse sweeps in the middle overs.
They're likely to host playoffs and have a good chance of adding to their one BBL title from 2013.
Coach: Adam Griffith
Squad: Scott Boland, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Peter Handscomb, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Mitch Owen, Wil Parker, D’Arcy Short, Matthew Wade (c), Mac Wright, Sandeep Lamichhane, Caleb Jewell, Joel Paris, Harry Brook, Josh Kann, Tom Rogers, Jordan Thompson.
Last season, the Hobart Hurricanes finished sixth, missing the playoffs on NRR. Tim David's rise was one of their positives last season. The right-hander is one of the most destructive spin bowling hitters in the game.
They have signed the exciting Harry Brook, who had an excellent The Hundred season. Brook averaged 47 and struck at 153 there, frequently doing the heavy lifting for his team. What distinguishes him is brilliant striking against both spin and pace.
They have signed another Yorkshireman, Jordan Thompson, a hard hitting pace bowling all-rounder and comes on the back of strong T20 Blast performances.
Coach: David Saker
Squad: Cameron Boyce, Zak Evans, Aaron Finch, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Josh Lalor, Shaun Marsh, James Pattinson, Mitch Perry, Jack Prestwidge, Kane Richardson, Will Sutherland, Nic Maddinson (c), Reece Topley, Unmukt Chand, Mohammad Nabi, Zahir Khan.
Renegades have finished last on the table for two consecutive years. With a new coach at the helm, we can expect them to start improving their performances.
Hatzoglou the impressive young leggie has moved to the Perth Scorchers and Renegades will miss his services as his replacements aren’t the same quality. Young gun Jake Fraser-McGurk, one of Australia’s most promising youngsters, could have a breakthrough season.
Their latest signing Reece Topley is a tall left-armer who’ll hunt for new ball wickets and complement their rest of the attack. Indian import Unmukt Chand is a veteran of the IPL with Delhi, Mumbai and Rajasthan who can bring proven run-scoring ability, especially against spin as a top-order batter.
They have the potential to return to the playoffs but are not one of the favourites to be lifting the trophy.
Coach: David Hussey
Squad: Glenn Maxwell (c), Qais Ahmad, Joe Burns, Hilton Cartwright, Joe Clarke, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Sam Elliott, Syed Faridoun, Seb Gotch, Liam Hatcher, Clint Hinchcliffe, Nick Larkin, Tom O’Connell, Sam Rainbird, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Beau Webster, Adam Zampa.
They finished seventh last season after making finals in BBL 08 and BBL 09.
Joe Clarke, one of the most underrated T20 batters in the world joins them this year adding more firepower to their top order and will help them make better use of the powerplay and the power surge.
Beau Webster is another local addition who is a quality batter with long levers and ability to hit sixes at will. He is also a pretty strong spin bowler.
They are always in contention, but despite three trips to the final, they are yet to win a trophy. They are unlikely to be impacted by player call-ups to the Ashes, so they are one of the favorites.
Coach: Adam Voges
Squad: Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Cooper Connolly, Laurie Evans, Aaron Hardie, Peter Hatzoglou, Nick Hobson, Josh Inglis, Matthew Kelly, Mitch Marsh, David Moody, Tymal Mills, Lance Morris, Colin Munro, Kurtis Patterson, Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner (c), Andrew Tye, David Moody (replacement for Jhye Richardson).
With their strong Western Australian centric core, the Scorchers, last season's runner-up, head into the new season as one of the favourites.
In terms of overseas player availability, the Scorchers are one of the most impacted teams in the lead-up to the season, with Jason Roy and Liam Livingstone withdrawing. They made up for it by signing England's Tymal Mills, who is one of the most effective death bowlers in T20s with his indecipherable variations.
Tymal Mills, along with Jason Behrendorff and Andrew Tye, form the competition's best pace bowling unit.
Coach: Greg Shipperd
Squad: Moises Henriques (c), Sean Abbott, Jackson Bird, Daniel Christian, Tom Curran, Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Mickey Edwards, Daniel Hughes, Chris Jordan, Hayden Kerr, Nathan Lyon, Ben Manenti, Stephen O’Keefe, Josh Philippe, Lloyd Pope, Jordan Silk, James Vince.
The Sixers, last season's champions, are again one of the favorites to win the cup with their solid domestic core.
As expected there have been few changes to last year's squad – English all-rounder Tom Curran replaces West Indies star Carlos Brathwaite, so they won't be lacking in firepower and balance.
When it comes to the BBL, English batter James Vince hasn't always lived up to his billing as one of the world's best short-form players, but he came through last season with match-winning innings in the qualifier and the final. Expect him to be a consistent batter for them this season.
Coach : Trevor Bayliss
Squad: Jonathan Cook, Ben Cutting, Ollie Davies, Brendan Doggett, Matt Gilkes, Chris Green, Baxter Holt, Usman Khawaja (c), Nathan McAndrew, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Tanveer Sangha, Chris Tremain, Alex Hales, Sam Billings, Baxter Holt, Saqib Mahmood, Jason Sangha.
Sydney Thunder finished third last year and got eliminated in the knockout. One of the biggest positives for them last year was big hitter Ben Cutting’s batting form and his boundary percentage versus pace which was the best for middle-order batters in the competition.
Their latest addition is the English pacer Saqib Mahmood who’ll take up Adam Milne’s role to be impactful with new ball and also at the death with his reverse swing at times.
Ollie Davies is regarded as a white-ball rising star in Australian cricket circles, but he will be very volatile with respect to his performances. If he fires, his one-two punch with Hales could combine to knock out a few opponents.
With a strong and experienced core as they have, expect them to at least make the knockouts once again.