BBL champions Sydney Sixers boosted by triple signing
The Sydney Sixers have boosted their squad ahead of their KFC Big Bash League title defence by re-signing rising bowlers Ben Manenti and Mickey Edwards, and all-rounder Hayden Kerr.
All three have been learning their trade with the Sixers over the last few seasons and are preparing to take the next steps in their careers in BBL|10.
Manenti played 13 matches for the men in magenta over the last two seasons as a replacement player for Test star Nathan Lyon, snaring 10 wickets with his off-spin at an impressive economy rate of 6.95. The son of Australian women’s 7’s rugby coach John Manenti has now earnt his first full-time BBL contract and put in the best off season of his burgeoning career, spending more time learning from Lyon while training with the NSW Blues.
Edwards will be back for his fourth campaign with the Sixers, although the charismatic fast bowler has started just two games over the last three seasons. In the 2018/19 season Edwards joined his teenage brother Jack to become the first siblings since the Waugh twins, in 2004, to play a Sheffield Shield match together.
Meanwhile, Kerr a promising all-rounder who bats right-handed and delivers crafty fast-medium seamers with the left has his first full-time Sixers contract after playing five games last season as a local player replacement for Steve Smith.
Sixers head coach Greg Shipperd said the trio all deserved their place in the squad after valuable contributions on and off the field in the club’s title winning run last summer.
“Ben Manenti has earnt his full time Sixers contract after playing a vital role over the past two seasons,” Shipperd said.
“He has continued to develop his skills in this format and we are confident that he has a long term future with the Club. He’s shown great poise and control in the pressure power play phase and his fielding and batting skills are emerging strongly.
“Our spinning contingent is again shaping as one of our strengths with Manenti alongside Nathan Lyon, Steve O’Keefe and Lloyd Pope having a nice ring to it.”
Shipperd said Manenti was not only a key figure on the field but a great member of the Sixers’ playing group off the field too.
“I’m sure there will be roar of approval from the squad as they welcome this very popular team man on a full-time basis,” Shipperd said.
Edwards is a player Shipperd has backed for the long haul, the wily coach believing the towering speedster is ready to make an impact when called upon.
“Patience will be a virtue for Mickey and we are very pleased that he will continue his journey with us at the Sixers,” Shipperd said.
“Mickey has been diligently working on his skills over the past couple of seasons and he is ready to impact the tournament.
“Competition has been strong within the group for opportunity but our group were successful last season because of the strength of the whole squad. Everyone contributed to the tone and development of the team, few more than Mickey.”
Shipperd was also bullish on Kerr’s potential, especially having spent a season playing alongside some world class players.
“Hayden made an impressive fist of his first BBL season and would have learnt many important lessons surrounded by our internationals and guys like Sean Abbott and Tom Curran as similar style players,” he said.
“There is great value in all-round skills and his foundation with the bat, ball, fielding and the new T20 rules give Hayden a great opportunity to impact in a positive way.
“He has shown an ability to bowl through all phases and bat anywhere from one to deep into the middle order.”
The Sixers' BBL squad now consists of 15 players: Sean Abbott, Jackson Bird, Tom Curran, Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Mickey Edwards, Moises Henriques (c), Daniel Hughes, Hayden Kerr, Nathan Lyon, Ben Manenti, Stephen O'Keefe, Josh Philippe, Lloyd Pope, Jordan Silk