After nine seasons with Melbourne Stars since the beginning of the Big Bash League, Peter Handscomb will move to the Hobart Hurricanes for the upcoming season. Handscomb, who was not offered a new deal with the Stars, signed with the Hurricanes for two years.
“I had a good chat with some of the boys I’d played with before, so I’m keen to get down there and play with those guys,” Handscomb said on Wednesday (September 9). “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to potentially bat in the top four on a beautiful wicket at a nice ground, it’s exciting to be able to come to Hobart and show what I can do.
“I’ve got absolutely no hard feelings towards the Stars, I absolutely love everyone there. That’s just the way it goes and sometimes you get the wrong end of it. It was a pretty tough decision. There was a moment there for a while where I was a bit scared that no one was going to give me an offer. But (later on) … I managed to talk to a few other clubs as well.
“It probably came down to the opportunity to bat higher in the order and give myself the best chance to showcase what I can do in T20 cricket and not just be pigeon-holed into that middle-order role.”
Handscomb will be part of a dynamic batting line-up comprising of D’Arcy Short, Matthew Wade and Ben McDermott. The Hurricanes, however, lost out on George Bailey – following his retirement – in the middle order, and are not expecting David Miller to return this season, which leaves a large void in the middle order, which Handscomb can fill adeptly. He also offers another wicketkeeping option if need be.
“They’ve got an amazing group of players and it gets to a point where it becomes hard to fit everyone in and under the salary cap,” Handscomb said. “I think every batter in T20 cricket wants to open the batting, so it’d be silly of me to say I wouldn’t jump at that opportunity. But I’m hoping it’ll be top four and I can control those middle overs. But if that opening position is there depending on what’s happening with Wadey, I’d be pretty keen to do that as well.”
Scott Barnes, the Hurricanes general manager, said: “We’re thrilled to have Pete join the Hurricanes. There will be a number of first-time Hurricanes this season and we’re confident that the mix of youth and experience will see us through to the finals for another season. His experience and tenacity at the crease is well known, and for him to be in purple this season provides another level of confidence to our batting line-up and overall team leadership.”
In 51 matches for the Stars Handscomb has scored 834 runs averaging 27.80. His career-best T20 score of 103* came for the Stars against Perth Scorchers in 2015.
“Pete has been a fantastic contributor and leader around the group for so many years,” Stars head coach, David Hussey, said. “I’m lucky enough to have been able to both play alongside him and coach him and he’ll always be part of the broader group.”