Phil Salt completes Strikers squad
Sussex and England batsman Phil Salt has joined the Adelaide Strikers ahead of KFC BBL|09, completing the squad for the new season.
Salt, 23, has been a key part of the Sussex Sharks’ last two Vitality Blast campaigns, blazing 355 runs at a strike rate of 172 on the way to last year’s final.
The right-hander has also made 406 runs with four half-centuries in this season’s competition, including 72 off 40 balls in the Sharks’ quarter-final against the Worcestershire Rapids on Friday following a maiden call-up to England’s T20 squad against Pakistan in May.
Renowned for his aggression at the top of the order and sharpness in the field, Salt is the Strikers’ second international alongside Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan, who also plays at Sussex.
“We are incredibly excited to have signed Phil who has showed real signs of promise and has performed well for the Sharks in the Blast,” Sussex and Strikers Head Coach Gillespie said.
“He’s beyond excited to get started, obviously we have (Alex) Carey over here in England and Phil has been chatting to him non-stop about how it’s going to work, when he can come out to Adelaide and meet everyone and get stuck in.”
Salt spent some time in 2018 with Premier Cricket club Adelaide University and through the Darren Lehmann Academy, and he said that is was an easy decision for him to return to the city in Strikers blue.
“I had a stint in Adelaide playing for Adelaide University and loved it, I made some really good friends who I’m looking forward to seeing again,” he said.
“I love working with Dizz (coach Gillespie), Rash and Alex, it’s so key when you’re trying to build a great environment to have guys who you know are going to put 100% in at all times and give everything they’ve got to the cause. I’ve worked really well with Dizz over the course of my career so far and hope that we can be even more successful here at the Strikers.
“The squad that we have is more than good enough to challenge for the title; we’ve got some great players who have plenty about them, not only cricket-wise but in character also and that’s so important in a team.”
Salt joins experienced Cameron White and wicketkeeper-batsman Harry Nielsen as the Strikers’ new recruits for BBL|09, leaving Gillespie optimistic about his new batting stocks.
“After some inconsistency last year we have bolstered our squad with the signing of Phil and we know also that recruiting Cam White with all of his experience can only be a massive positive and I’m certainly looking forward to working with him and learning from him, “ Gillespie said.
“Someone of Harry’s quality is just brilliant, and the way he played against Perth showed us all what a skilful young player he is.
“He’s a great lad and great addition to the dressing room and I know he’ll do a job for us.”
The Strikers begin their season away to the Sydney Thunder on Saturday, 21 December.
Adelaide Strikers BBL|09 squad: Wes Agar, Alex Carey, Travis Head, Rashid Khan (OS), Ben Laughlin, Jake Lehmann, Michael Neser, Harry Nielsen, Liam O'Connor, Phil Salt (OS), Matt Short, Peter Siddle, Billy Stanlake, Cameron Valente, Jake Weatherald, Jon Wells, Cameron White, Nick Winter
In: Phil Salt, Cameron White, Harry Nielsen
Out: Colin Ingram, David Grant, Michael Cormack