THEY are already the most successful Big Bash franchise in history after claiming back-to-back titles, but the Perth Scorchers are determined to extend their run as Australia’s T20 supremos.
After successfully defending their title with a last gasp victory over the Sydney Sixers last season, the Scorchers will be gunning for an unprecedented third straight crown.
Scorchers import and former England international Michael Carberry said the chance to make history excited him.
“I think it should drive everybody,” he said.
“I’m certainly driven by it. I’m not scared to talk about it and I think it’s a wonderful opportunity that not many teams have to make some history.”
The Scorchers will kick off their campaign on December 21 at the WACA Ground against the Adelaide Strikers, but they may be without test star and skipper Adam Voges, as well as the Marsh brothers and speedster Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Despite this, Carberry said he felt no additional pressure.
“I think there’s always that pressure going into every game,” he said.
“It’s great when we have them around, but as Justin (Langer) rightfully pointed out at training yesterday, the guys that were there, it’s just about being ready to take your opportunity if and when it comes.”
With fan favourite Yasir Arafat missing from the Furnace, the Scorchers have added just one additional play to last year’s roster in English all-rounder David Willey.
The left-arm speedster and batsman debuted for England in one day cricket earlier this year, following in the footsteps of his father Peter who played 26 tests for England during the late ’70s and ’80s.
Like his father, Willey is known for his combative spirit when he takes to the field, something that will likely impress Scorchers fans.
In-form batsman Michael Klinger will prove pivotal if Voges and Marsh remain on international duty, while young stars Ashton Agar and Cameron Bancroft will be putting their best feet forward ahead of next year’s T20 World Cup in India.
The evergreen Brad Hogg still has plenty to offer the modest Scorchers’ attack, with quicks Jason Behrendorff, Andrew Tye and Joel Paris set to fill the shoes of Arafat and potentially Coulter-Nile.
Then there is wily head coach Langer, who will be intent on leading the West Australians to a remarkable fifth straight final. The Scorchers will go into BBL05 as joint favourites for the title.