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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Matthew Cooper

5 English players who may have earned a T20 World Cup spot with Big Bash displays

The eleventh season of the Big Bash, Australia's premier T20 franchise competition, has come to an end with the Perth Scorchers winning the title for a record fourth time.

There was a strong home presence in this year's competition, with each of the eight sides utilising at least one English player during the season.

With this year's T20 World Cup taking place in Australia, several players may well have advanced their case to feature in England's plans with strong performances.

Last year, Tymal Mills earned a spot in England's World Cup squad after a four-year absence from the international stage, with a combination of his own good form and Jofra Archer's elbow injury affording him the opportunity.

Laurie Evans produced a match-winning innings in the Big Bash final (Mike Owen - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

This year, several other fringe players will be hoping to do the same and Mirror Sport has taken a look at five players whose Big Bash performances could help them force their way into England's plans.

Ian Cockbain, who starred for the Adelaide Strikers with 239 runs at an average of almost 60, does not make the cut with England unlikely to consider him.

Sydney Thunder's Alex Hales also misses out, with England unwilling to offer him a lifeline despite his continued success in T20 leagues around the world.

Laurie Evans - Perth Scorchers

Perhaps the biggest outsider on the list; Evans is an exceptional T20 cricketer and has enjoyed a stellar Big Bash which culminated in a match-winning innings in the final.

Evans smashed 76 not out from just 41 balls as the Scorchers beat the Sydney Sixers by 79 runs, equalling Kevin Pietersen's record for the fastest ever half-century in a Big Bash final.

Finishing with 361 runs at an average of 40.11 and a strike rate of 144.40, Evans now only has an outside chance of forcing his way into England's plans.

However, if he can back up his Big Bash form with stellar T20 Blast and Hundred campaigns, he may yet break into England's T20I side.

Saqib Mahmood made a real impact for the Sydney Thunder (Albert Perez - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Saqib Mahmood - Sydney Thunder

A surprise omission from last year's T20 World Cup squad, Mahmood is developing into an impressive T20 bowler and underlined his credentials with an excellent campaign for the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash.

Able to consistently hit the 90mph mark, Mahmood picked up 13 wickets in six games at an average of 16.15.

On debut, the 24-year-old picked up 4-22 against the Brisbane Heat, removing internationals Chris Lynn, Ben Duckett and Sam Heazlett as well as captain Jimmy Peirson.

With spots up for grabs among England's seamers at the moment, Mahmood is well-placed to feature in the World Cup.

Joe Clarke scored more runs than any other overseas player in this year's Big Bash (Mike Owen/Getty Images)

Joe Clarke - Melbourne Stars

Uncapped by England in all formats, Clarke is widely considered to be one of the most talented young batters in county cricket.

Already a regular on the T20 franchise circuit, Clarke scored more runs than any other overseas player in this year's Big Bash.

With 419 at an average of 32.23 and a strike rate of 151.26, the 25-year-old was in outstanding form for the Melbourne Stars and scored five half-centuries in 13 innings.

As a top-order batter, England opportunities are limited given the dearth of options at their disposal in T20 cricket, but Clarke is surely not far off breaking into the side.

Ben Duckett was the Brisbane Heat's leading run scorer in this year's Big Bash (Morgan Hancock/Getty Images)

Ben Duckett - Brisbane Heat

Having been in and around England's limited overs side since making his ODI debut in 2016, Duckett has only earned four caps in white-ball cricket.

That is mainly down to England's riches when it comes to top-order batters but, like Clarke, he is waiting in the wings should an opportunity arise.

Duckett was the Brisbane Heat's top scorer in this year's tournament and, coming off the back of two particularly strong years in the T20 blast for Nottinghamshire, he will be desperate to add to his four caps.

Sam Billings was in excellent form for the Sydney Thunder too (Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Sam Billings - Sydney Thunder

A perennial drinks carrier in England's limited overs set up, Billings' international career was perhaps best summed up by his experience of last year's World Cup, where he featured just once and did not bat.

Now 30-years-old, Billings has spoken openly about his desire to play more regularly for England and he will be hoping his performances for the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash will afford him more opportunities heading into this year's World Cup.

Before getting drafted in for the final Ashes Test and then jetting off to Barbados for the T20I series against the West Indies, Billings scored an impressive 284 runs at an average of 40.57 and a strike rate of 153.51.

Despite England's embarrassment of riches in T20 batting, those kinds of numbers are hard to ignore and Billings will be given opportunities to impress ahead of the World Cup. He just needs to make the most of them.

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