Willey suffers shoulder injury
Perth Scorchers import David Willey has been ruled out of the remainder of the Big Bash League with a left shoulder injury. He will fly home on Tuesday night for further assessment and treatment in the UK.
It is understood the injury is not serious at this stage but has been bothering Willey, the England allrounder, since the Scorchers' loss to the Hobart Hurricanes on December 30 in Launceston.
He was ruled out of the Scorchers latest match against the Hurricanes last Friday night and the ECB medical staff have advised him to return home.
Willey has endured a frustrating tournament form-wise with both bat and ball coming off limited cricket in the lead-up. He was shuffled through multiple roles with both bat and ball. He batted in three different spots in four innings, including opening the batting, and his bowling role changed regularly in the games he played.
Willey has not played for England since the India series last July after a back injury ruled him out of the tour of Sri Lanka.
The Scorchers do welcome back some key Australian internationals for their next match against the Sydney Thunder on Thursday at Perth Stadium. Shaun Marsh and Jason Behrendorff both return from ODI duty.
Wicketkeeper batsman Sam Whiteman has been ruled out for two to three weeks with a quad injury he suffered in the loss to the Hurricanes. But Josh Inglis appears to have overcome a broken toe and looks set to slot in as a like for like replacement.
Vince replaces Denly at Sixers
Sydney Sixers have roped in James Vince for the remainder of the season as a like-for-like replacement for fellow England batsman Joe Denly, who has been called up by England for the Test series in the West Indies later this month.
Vince, who recently played for Auckland in the Super Smash in New Zealand, had earlier turned out in the 2017-18 BBL season for the Sydney Thunder. He is set join the Sixers squad ahead of their match against the Perth Scorchers on Sunday at the Optus Stadium.
"I'm extremely excited about joining up with the Sixers," Vince said. "The Big Bash is a fantastic competition to be a part of. The guys are playing some great cricket at the minute and are in a strong position heading into the second half of the tournament.
"Hopefully I can hit the ground running and make some good contributions that will help us go all the way this year. Sydney is a fantastic place and the SCG is an incredible ground, I can't wait to get started."
The Sixers are currently third on the points table and have seven more games left in the league stage.
Mark Waugh hits at BBL batting
The quality of batting in this year's BBL has provoked debate. Melbourne Renegades have yet to register an individual half-century in five matches and on Thursday limped to 9 for 126 against Adelaide Strikers. Not for the first time it was spin causing the major problems as Liam O'Connor, Rashid Khan and Colin Ingram proved a handful.
It was enough for Mark Waugh to term the standard of batting against spin as "embarrassing" although he had also noted a couple of days previously that the state of some of the wickets wasn't helping.
Pretty embarrassing watching the standard of batting against spin in the BBL this season.#dreadful— Mark Waugh (@juniorwaugh349) January 3, 2019
One thing I've noticed this season on the BBL @FoxCricket is that several pitches/grounds have not been suitable for t20 batting. Some useful bowling for sure but batsmen are finding it tough going.— Mark Waugh (@juniorwaugh349) January 2, 2019
Australia had an awful time against spin in the UAE last year when they played three T20Is then struggled against Kuldeep Yadav in the India series in November. Their next T20Is are set to be in India during the limited-overs tour which starts next month so life is unlikely to get easier.
Maddinson nears comeback
Nic Maddinson is closing in on a comeback from the broken arm he suffered in the Sheffield Shield last month having surprised himself at the speed of his recovery.
Maddinson needed surgery after being struck by a short ball from Jhye Richardson and was unsure whether he would hit the surgeon's timescale of a return in around four weeks. But he appears on course for that with a comeback looking likely when Melbourne Stars face Perth Scorchers at the MCG on Wednesday.
"It seems to be pulling up better and better after everything I do," he told the Herald Sun. So I thought, why not push it a bit harder and try and play."