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Flashers, tuggers and fried chicken: The 2012/13 Big Bash First Eleven

How will you remember the second instalment of the fluoro-franchised Big Bash League?

More importantly, will you remember it at all?

Play the BBL02 word association game with the diehard devotees and I reckon the majority would respond with any of the following as their first choice for most memorable lingering image.

imageShane Warne’s shirt tug and meltdown combo, Chris Gayle’s grossly imbalanced dollar per run charge, saturation KFC brainwashing, Simon Katich’s bizarrely generous captaincy gesture, the anti-Marlon Samuels movement, Mardi Gra bails, or just a general disruption to the national team’s best interests.

The competition took a few sharp blows to the nether regions this year, with dwindling crowds early in the piece, some questionable standards of play and the ongoing battle for relevance sure to have kept the bosses at Cricket Australia sweating through Chrissy.

On a personal level, I wasn’t too bothered by it all as long as I got my Two Piece Feed.

Nonetheless, a number of guiding lights were squeezed in between all of the flying bats and Madden brother appearances that occurred throughout the preliminary stages, and here is the crème de la crème that make up the BBL02 First XI of 2012/13.

Aaron Finch: the walking Victorian bar fridge is a cinch for selection after kick-starting the competition with an explosive 111* that included some brutish Warne-clubbing. He maintained the rage throughout the campaign and finished with an astronomical average of 77.25 at a bushy-tailed strike rate of 128.21.

Luke Pomersbach: this former off-field wild cannon went quietly about his business sprouting brisk starts for the Heat in the early stages until his name was coated in highlighter following a match-winning 82 from 42 balls against the Hurricanes, a timely knock which single-handedly propelled his side into the post-season.

Shaun Marsh: once again, ‘SOS’ reminded Australia of the bucket loads of talent he possesses with a number of digs for the Scorchers that were dripping in class. He finished as tournament top-scorer with 328 runs at an average of 65.60.

Brad Hodge: the only thing that changes throughout Aussie domestic summers for the compact Vic is the spread of salt over pepper in the hair-do. He’s still flogging the young bucks with style, and this season was no different as he amassed 272 runs.

_S5U6632Ben Rohrer: what was produced by the Blues veteran could only be described as a breakout campaign, although many would argue that this fashion of domination from the man has been threatening for years. A campaign of intelligence and muscle combined for an average of 50.60 and a S/R of 147.09.

Ricky Ponting: the old boy wound back the clock with some carefree knocks that oozed with the freedom of a man whom now carries minimal concerns. An absolute luxury in the dream team coming in at six with a tournament total of 236 runs.

Tim Paine: there were signs throughout the competition that the stylish Hurricane may be about to embark on the sustained run to higher honours we’ve been awaiting, with polished glovework and his trademark crease street smarts on display throughout. Finished with 260 runs at 37.14.

Alfonso Thomas: this master from South Africa bowls blockhole balls whilst snoozing, and it was no different in season 2012/13 as the ace in the pack for the Scorchers at the death. The wiry quick finished with 12 wickets at an average of 10.00 and conceding a paper-thin 5.53 runs per over.

Ben Laughlin: another master of the closing stages of an innings with his deep trick bag of change-ups. Don’t forget that this unfashionable seamer has played for Australia in the past, and a recall could be on the horizon after finishing as highest wicket-taker in the Big Bash with 14 scalps.

Lasith Malinga: the distinctive round-armer was a lock-in for a guernsey after his magical spell of 6/7 against the Scorchers. He showed this was no flash in the pan for the Stars by finishing the campaign with 13 wickets and a thrifty RPO of 4.96.

Muttiah Muralitharan: the Sri Lankan wizard showed that he can still turn the rock on a sheet of oily lino, and proved that even after being out of the international game for some time, his presence still demands respect among the modern players. Took 10 wickets at 15.60 and conceded a tidy 5.57 RPO.

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