Scorchers put line through star for BBL finals, citing ‘unnecessary risk’

The BBL Grand Final already has a heartbreaking history as Perth Scorchers paceman Jhye Richardson misses the big day through injury.

The Scorchers secured their place in Saturday’s decider with a seven-wicket win over the Sydney Sixers in Perth.

Around 50,000 spectators will gather at Optus Stadium for the grand finale as the Scorchers attempt to win their fifth title.

Richardson injured his hamstring on Jan. 4 and was originally scheduled to return in time for the finals.

But the 26-year-old will falter in his bid to be part of the team’s bid for back-to-back titles as the scorchers don’t want to put Richardson’s body at risk of another injury.

“I think Jhye’s chances are pretty slim. I’d be surprised if we see him next weekend,” said Scorchers captain Ashton Turner.

“Jhye is such an exciting cricketer but he’s still a young bloke.

“He exposes his body to a lot. We’re really grateful that he did everything he could to get up for the finals. We know how valuable he is.

“But we also have a certain perspective. Jhye still has a lot of cricket ahead of him – in orange, playing for WA, playing for Australia, playing for franchises around the world.

“He’s too important to put his body at unnecessary risk.

“We want to have him on our team as much as possible. But there’s also a risk/reward tradeoff, and I don’t think it’s worth putting too much strain on someone’s young body.”

The Scorchers' Jhye Richardson prepares to bowl during the Big Bash League

Jhye Richardson of the Scorchers. (Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)

The Scorchers will lose pace ace Lance Morris to international signings for the decider, with coach Adam Voges facing a difficult decision whether to replace him with fellow paceman Matt Kelly or spinner Peter Hatzoglou.

Kelly missed The Qualifier win over the Sixers due to a concussion, while Hatzoglou was completely overlooked after the Scorchers decided to go into the match without a specialized spinner.

“Peter Hatzoglou has been bowling really well for us for a number of years. He was really unlucky to miss selection,” Turner said.

“He’s someone who should play at that level. He has a proven track record, he’s won us games.

“With Lance absent there is a chance, whether it’s for Matt Kelly or Peter Hatzoglou.”

Turner was the hero on Saturday night, cracking an unbeaten 84 from 47 as the Scorchers rebounded from 3-22 to chase their goal of 152 with nine balls.

Cameron Bancroft (53 none from 45 balls) was also instrumental in the win.

The Sixers still have a shot at making the Grand Finals, but they’ll need to beat either the Melbourne Renegades or Brisbane Heat in The Challenger next Thursday in Sydney to secure their spot.

© AAP Scorchers put line through star for BBL finals, citing 'unnecessary risk'

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