Jhye Richardson pays tribute to squad mentality after Perth Scorchers’ record fourth BBL title

Headshot of Jordan McArdle
Jordan McArdleThe West Australian
Jhye Richardson and the Scorchers proved too strong for the rest of the BBL.
Camera IconJhye Richardson and the Scorchers proved too strong for the rest of the BBL. Credit: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Jhye Richardson has paid tribute to reserve quicks Matthew Kelly and Lance Morris for their role in Perth Scorchers’ record fourth Big Bash League title.

Test speedster Richardson only played the final two games of the tournament after returning from Ashes duties with first-year Scorcher Morris making way.

Morris, 23, featured in six matches and took two wickets before he was struck down by COVID-19 late in the tournament.

Experienced seamer Kelly was one of Perth’s best players and also one of their unluckiest, getting dropped for English import Tymal Mills early in BBL11 despite a player-of-the-match performance in game one against Brisbane.

The 27-year-old finished with 14 scalps for the tournament including two four-wicket hauls, but like Morris, returning a positive PCR test and was forced to isolate.

Allrounder Aaron Hardie, wicketkeeper-batter Cameron Bancroft, batter Nick Hobson, paceman David Moody and departed import Mills also played a part throughout the season without featuring in finals.

“It’s always interesting coming back to only play two games,” Richardson said.

“Special mention to guys like ‘Kels’ and Lance, they were awesome all year. It’s just a shame they both got COVID at the end.

“It’s been an amazing effort, I love this team Perth.”

The reigning Simon Katich medallist grabbed four wickets in his two games including 2-20 and the knock-out punch of Steve O’Keefe in the 79-run BBL final thrashing of Sydney Sixers at Marvel Stadium on Friday night.

It was his second BBL title after he was player of the final in the Scorchers previous title in BBL06.

Richardson will now turn his attention Australia’s Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka starting next month after being named in their 16-player squad.

His BBL contract, which expired at the end of the final, will be a point of discussion heading into next summer as one of the Scorchers’ most important players when available.

Kurtis Patterson, who enjoyed a breakout tournament which included four half-centuries as he cemented his spot at the top of the order, fellow batter Nick Hobson, Australian Under-19s captain Cooper Connolly are also out of contract.

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