Finn Norrie | 2:05am GMT 31 December 2023
Indian-born cricketer Nikhil Chaudhary joined the ongoing Big Bash League (BBL) with his performances while representing Hobart Hurricanes in the 2023-24 season. He became the second Indian cricketer who play in the BBL, following India U-19 World Cup-winning captain Unmukt Chand.
The right-handed batter captivated the cricket audience in his debut match against the Perth Scorchers, with his blistering knock of 40 in 31 balls. Chaudhary also took two wickets during the match against Sydney Thunder on New Year’s Day.
The 27-year-old player was born in New Delhi, showcasing his aggressive batting performances, to join the Punjab team under former Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh’s leadership. He also participated in trials twice for the Mumbai Indians in 2019 but failed to join the IPL team.
Chaudhary decided to follow his cricket passion in Australia, as he obtained a chance to play for the Northern Suburbs cricket club. His performance back then caught the attention of the former Australian cricketer James Hopes, the assistant coach for the Hobart Hurricanes. Later, Chaudhary succeeded in making a contract with BBL on Hopes’ recommendation.
Hobart Hurricanes vs Sydney Thunder highlights
The Hobart Hurricanes took down the Thunder of the BBL table by seven wickets on Monday afternoon (January 1). The victory has marked the Hurricanes’ second winning of the season from five matches, putting them in the fifth spot.
Hurricanes cricketer Chris Jordan, Nikhil Chaudhary, and Paddy Dooley took each two wickets on a pitch. Ben McDermott and Mac Wright added the third wicket, helping the Hurricanes get 11 balls to spare.
McDermott made a top score with an unbeaten 53 of 34 deliveries, sharing 85 runs with Mac Wright who fell in the chase for 34 from 25 balls. The pair took 22 runs from a double Power Surge in the 13th over to chase down the deficit to about a run per ball.
During the match, the only thing that concerned the team was the veteran wicketkeeper Matthew Wade’s back soreness. He led the Australian team in their last Twenty20 series against India. He also made a top score with 82 in the match against Melbourne Renegades.
Hurricanes coach Jeff Vaughn said Wade was having back spasms and soreness, claiming it was not an injury. He added that it was a day-to-day decision, as he needed to assess Wade in the next few days, hoping Wade would get well and ready to play.
Meanwhile, The Thunder have a considerable chance of reaching the finals, with only one win from the initial six games in the shortened 10-game regular season.
English-origin cricketer Tom Kohler-Cadmore caught away from his crease without facing the ball. Kohler-Cadmore has a strike-rate of 140 with an average of nearly 30 but failed to take Wright’s arm on the inside in the fourth round.
Likewise, the leading run-scorer in the BBL this season Cameron Bancroft dismissed for 21, while Alex Hales had difficulty after he was stuck three times. Only the skipper Chris Green made a top score with an unbeaten 33 off 17.
The BBL has been a popular league on-field and simulated reality league (SRL) — a cricket match simulation that provides an immersive experience. SRL Cricket uses cutting-edge technology to collect hundreds of data from major cricket matches, including statistics, player transfers, loans, and drafts. Later, the artificial intelligence (AI) will process the generated data into graphics and a computer simulation of BBL matches. Cricket fans can also bet on Big Bash SRL, which is always available although the real cricket is off-season and has similar ways of traditional cricket betting. Another advantage is betting on SRL cricket can happen even though the real matches are over or the champion has been decided.