Perth Scorchers may have failed to win a single game at last year’s Champions League Twenty20 but the Justin Langer-coached side is hoping to set the record straight this year by winning the tournament.
An air of confidence is brewing among the Scorchers, especially after they broke Western Australia cricket’s 10-year title drought last summer with their victory over the Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League final.
“Our goal is to go there and win the Champions League. It’s the Australian way to look to win every game of cricket we play. The NSW (New South Wales) team won it a few years ago, and that’s a good trend to follow,” Langer was quoted as saying by the ‘Australian Associated Press’.
“We’re massive underdogs, and that’s not a bad thing to be for an Aussie,” he said.
The Scorchers failed to win a game at last year’s tournament, while off-field misadventures dogged their failed campaign in 2012.
Indian heavyweights Chennai Super Kings, Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders are the front-runners to win this year’s Champions League but Langer does not want his side to fear anyone.
Shaun Marsh’s elbow injury, the absence of Alfonso Thomas and the retirement of captain Simon Katich have left a massive void in the Scorchers’ line-up. But in Mitch Marsh, the Scorchers possess an all-rounder capable of tearing games apart.
Marsh missed last year’s tournament with a hamstring injury, but the 22-year-old has been in the form of his life recently, smacking scores of 86 not out and 89 in Australia’s recent one-day tour of Africa.
Langer is hopeful all-rounder Nathan Coulter-Nile, who underwent hamstring surgery on June 24, will be given the green light to play.
“We are very hopeful he’ll be on the plane with us. He’s had a fantastic rehabilitation on his hamstring. He’s very important to the balance of our side. If he doesn’t play the first game, he’ll definitely play the second, third, and or fourth game,” he said.
The Scorchers first match is on September 20 against South African outfit the Dolphins.
Squad: Adam Voges, Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Michael Beer, Jason Behrendorff, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Brad Hogg, Simon Mackin, Mitchell Marsh, Joel Paris, Craig Simmons, Ashton Turner, Sam Whiteman, Yasir Arafat.