The 2021-22 edition of the Big Bash League (BBL) continues to run in the bizarro world, as in its latest strange incident wicketkeeper Brayden Stepien got called up to make his fielding debut for Perth Scorchers despite not being part of the team’s playing XI at the start of the game.
Stepien, who “was drinking coffee down the road” as Fox Cricket commentator Tom Morris said, was asked to come in as a wicketkeeping substitute for the final 10 overs of Scorchers’ bowling effort for their BBL fixture on Friday (January 14) against the Adelaide Strikers.
Scorchers were forced to bring in a keeping replacement mid-innings versus the Strikers after a two-keeper swap that saw both Laurie Evans and Chris Sabburg do the glovework, duties before the onus fell on Brayden Stepien.
Brayden Stepien makes Scorchers’ fielding debut after a strange keeping swap
The incident involving Perth Scorchers’ unexpected fielding debutant Brayden Stepien came to light as Evans, who was initially due to keep wickets, got injured after being hit on his toe. As his immediate replacement, the Scorchers think-tank called in Sabburg to do the job. But then the team brought in another wicketkeeping replacement in the form of Stepien to start off the second half of their bowling effort, as Morris explained.
— Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) January 14, 2022
Morris said on commentatory that Stepien had no idea that he is about to be called up for a Scorchers fielding debut.
One of BBL’s local player replacements, who can represent multiple teams due to the Covid emergency, Brayden Stepien was initially part of the bubble for Melbourne Renegades.
He went to play for the Melbourne Stars, before testing Covid-19 positive on January 2 and has now turned for the Scorchers.
A bizarre & unexpected @ScorchersBBL fielding debut for Brayden Stepien. Has been in the @RenegadesBBL bubble and was selected to play for the @StarsBBL before testing positive on Jan 2. #BBL11 @FoxCricket 🤪 https://t.co/UdUs2AAbXT
— Tom Morris (@tommorris32) January 14, 2022
Brayden Stepien, the 24-year-old Victoria-based right-hand batter, hasn’t played any List A or first-class cricket in Australia. But made his T20 debut via the BBL 2020-21 last summer, featuring for Melbourne Renegades versus the Sydney Sixers.