BBL 2018-19: 18-year-old Lloyd Pope pens a deal with Sydney Sixers
Lloyd Pope, who has had comparisons with the spin king Shane Warne has been bagged by the Sydney Sixers ahead of the Big Bash League 2018-19. He recently became the youngest spinner in the Sheffield Shield to take a seven-wicket haul.
Pope achieved the feat for South Australia against Queensland at the Adelaide Oval. His exact figures were 7/87. The 18-year-old leggie shot into prominence by giving a scintillating performance against the English team with figures of 8/32. Lloyd Pope was the leading wicket-taker for Australia in the U19 World Cup with 11 wickets and will turn out for the Sydney Sixers for their season opener against the Perth Scorchers on December 22nd at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Pope couldn’t be accomodated in his local side of Adelaide Strikers since they already have the Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan and the rookie Liam ‘O Connor. The performance manager of South Australian Cricketing Association (SACA) as quoted by the Daily Telegraph mentioned how Rashid Khan’s absence had been perfectly nullified by Liam O’Connor.
Difficulty accommodating Pope in the line-up
“We have Khan, the best T20 player in the world, and full squad of 18. We rewarded the players on the back of winning the trophy last season. O’Connor came into the side when Rashid went and did a really good job for us”. Nielsen further added by saying, “I think Pope has the skill to be pretty successful in T20 cricket but unfortunately in the short term it is unlikely that he will be with the strikers.”
Sydney Sixers emerged victorious in the first ever tournament in the year 2011-12 when they beat Perth Scorchers in the final by seven wickets. However, Perth Scorchers have been the most successful with three titles in total.
Pope could soon be in contention to be fast tracked into the Australian national team, especially with the national team going through a struggling phase. A player like him could certainly add value to the side, providing Australia an able replacement for Shane Warne.