Ed Hawkins looks at the strengths and weaknesses of the eight hopefuls as the start of eagerly-awaited tournament approaches
"Perth have a win percentage of an incredible 65 and have bagged three titles. The Scorchers have retained the same squad"
Perth Scorchers 5.49/2
Last season Winners
In Cameron Green, Josh Inglis
Out Ian Bell , James Muirhead
Strengths: Perth are one of the most successful T20 franchises ever (albeit a pretty short history). They have a win percentage of an incredible 65 and have bagged three titles. The Scorchers have retained the same squad and are used to losing players to Australia duty.
Weaknesses: Er?...Um?...Maybe complacency? Maybe Michael Klinger is getting on a bit? And Mitchell Johnson, too? Seriously, though at times last campaign they looked a little shaky against spin-heavy attacks.
Squad: Adam Voges (capt), Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell Johnson, Michael Klinger, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Joel Paris, Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Sam Whiteman, David Willey
Melbourne Renegades 6.411/2
Last season 5th
In Tim Ludeman, Kane Richardson, Jack Wildermuth, Brad Hodge, Jon Holland, Joe Mennie, Mohammad Nabi, Will Sutherland, Beau Webster.
Out Peter Nevill, Peter Siddle, Callum Ferguson, Matthew Wade, Sunil Narine.
Strengths: This squad should be pretty settled in terms of Australia call-ups. Only Aaron Finch could miss key games. Dwayne Bravo is tried and tested while Afghani Mohammad Nabi is a coming force as a T20 all-rounder. Brad Hodge is, amazingly, still doing it at 42. Good on him.
Weaknesses: They have lost pacer James Pattinson to injury and they have an awful record at their Docklands home. Their price is not good, either.
Squad: Aaron Finch (capt), Dwayne Bravo, Tom Cooper, Marcus Harris, Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg, Jon Holland, Tim Ludeman, Joe Mennie, Mohammad Nabi (Kieron Polard replacement), James Pattinson, Kane Richardson, Matt Short, Will Sutherland, Chris Tremain, Beau Webster, Cameron White, Jack Wildermuth.
Brisbane Heat 6.411/2
Last season Semi-Finals
In Max Bryant, Brendan Doggett, Shadab Khan, Matt Renshaw, Cameron Valente, Yasir Shah
Out Sam Badree, Alex Doolan, Andrew Fekete, Nathan Reardon, Jack Wildermuth, Tymal Mills
Strengths: The so-called Bash brothers. Brendon McCullum and Chris Lynn are a ferocious opening pair who razed bowling attacks last time. And there's a strong toss bias for the chaser at The Gabba which they've made use of.
Weaknesses: Lynn, strangely. He has suffered consistent shoulder injuries and is only just nearing full fitness after surgery. Without him last term they lost their way and their campaign faltered. If he stays fit they go close. But that's a huge if.
Squad: Brendon McCullum (capt), Max Bryant, Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, Brendan Doggett, Jason Floros, Cameron Gannon, Sam Heazlett, Shadab Khan (Yasir Shah replacement), Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Lalor, Chris Lynn, Jimmy Peirson, Matt Renshaw, Alex Ross, Mitchell Swepson, Mark Steketee, Cameron Valente
Melbourne Stars 6.86/1
Last season Runners-up
In Jackson Coleman, Ben Dunk
Out David Hussey, Tom Triffitt
Strengths: The fact they are not jollies this year should help. We also like John Hasting, a strong presence, as skipper. They need their butts kicking into line and Hastings is the man. The signature of Ben Dunk is a possible masterstroke.
Weaknesses: Too many big names, too few of them taking responsibility. Kevin Pietersen needs to rediscover his mojo while one of the most alarming sights in T20 has been Ben Hilfenhaus at No 8.
Squad: John Hastings (capt), Michael Beer, Scott Boland, Jackson Coleman, Ben Dunk, James Faulkner, Seb Gotch, Evan Gulbis, Peter Handscomb, Sam Harper, Ben Hilfenhaus, Glenn Maxwell, Kevin Pietersen, Rob Quiney, Marcus Stoinis, Dan Worrall, Luke Wright , Adam Zampa.
Sydney Sixers 7.26/1
Last season Runners-up
In Peter Nevill, Henry Thornton
Out Ryan Carters, Brad Haddin, Michael Lumb, Joe Mennie
Strengths: They made it the final last season following a strong showing in the group stage. That's because their squad is strong. Daniel Hughes is a dangerous opener alongside Jason Roy and Nic Maddinson is vastly experienced. Johan Botha has good nous, too. Sean Abbott is a pacer we like.
Weaknesses: The Sixers are clearly happy with the squad but there doesn't seem to be much of a gung-ho attitude emanating from the camp. A big signing or two would have really signaled their intentions.
Squad: Sean Abbott, Sam Billings, Jackson Bird, Johan Botha, Ben Dwarshuis, Mickey Edwards, Jack Edwards, Moises Henriques, Daniel Hughes, Nathan Lyon, Nic Maddinson, Peter Nevill, Steve O'Keefe, Jason Roy, Jordan Silk, Mitchell Starc, Henry Thornton
Adelaide Strikers 8.88/1
Last season 6th
In Colin Ingram, Rashid Khan, Peter Siddle, Jonathan Wells
Out Ben Dunk, Chris Jordan, Brad Hodge, Jon Holland, Tim Ludeman, Kieron Pollard, Kane Richardson, Craig Simmons, Kelvin Smith
Strengths: The signature of Rashid Kahn is a major coup. Last term the Strikers were horribly short on the spin and death bowling front but they have emphatically solved that problem with the capture of the brilliant Afghani. His leggies are lethal in this format and he will surely win the odd game on his own. Colin Ingram, with the bat, is another shrewd acquisition.
Weaknesses: Oh for another batter! A lot rests on Travis Head's broad shoulders. This is a risk as he had a terrible campaign last term. They have lost Ben Dunk and Brad Hodge, who contributed 650 runs between them.
Squad: Travis Head (capt), Wes Agar, Alex Carey, Michael Cormack, Jono Dean, Daniel Drew, David Grant, Colin Ingram, Rashid Khan, Ben Laughlin, Jake Lehmann, Michael Neser, Liam O'Connor, Peter Siddle, Billy Stanlake, Jake Weatherald, Jonathan Wells, Nick Winter.
Sydney Thunder 13.5
Last season 8th
Ins Jos Buttler, Andrew Fekete, Mitchell McClenaghan, Callum Ferguson, Liam Hatcher.
Outs Carlos Brathwaite, Jake Doran, Nathan McAndrew, Alister McDermott, Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, James Vince
Strengths: The signings of Buttler and McClenaghan should help Thunder in their quest to improve on just three wins last term. They need two more to be in with a shout of qualifying.
Weaknesses: The loss of Andre Russell is a blow because, despite his ban, he remains one of the most influential all-rounders. They need huge improvement, though, and there seems little sign that they can repeat their 2015-16 win.
Squad: Shane Watson (capt), Fawad Ahmed, Aiden Blizzard, Jos Buttler (first six games only), Pat Cummins, Andrew Fekete, Callum Ferguson, Ryan Gibson, Chris Green, Liam Hatcher, Usman Khawaja, Jay Lenton, Mitchell McClenaghan, Clint McKay, Arjun Nair, Kurtis Patterson, Ben Rohrer, Garinder Sandhu.
Hobart Hurricanes 15.5
Last season 7th
In Jofra Archer, Tymal Mills, Tom Rogers, David Moody, Matt Wade.
Out Stuart Broad, Kumar Sangakkara, Shaun Tait, Beau Webster, Jonathan Wells, Dominic Michael
Strengths: The Hurricanes love a fast bowler. And in Jofra Archer, Tom Curran and Tymal Mills they have three rapid imports. Out go Stuart Broad and Shaun Tait. George Bailey is a shrewd skipper and Mr Reliable with the bat. No Kumar Sangakkara is a relief.
Weaknesses: An over-reliance on pace didn't work last year and it might not this time. The quicks tend to disappear quicker and quicker to the boundary these days and the Hurricanes were blown away when they paired Broad and Tait. They are probably two batters short as well.
Squad: George Bailey (capt), Jofra Archer, James Bazley, Cameron Boyce, Dan Christian, Tom Curran, Hamish Kingston, Ben McDermott, Simon Milenko, Tymal Mills, Tim Paine, Jake Reed, Sam Rainbird, Nathan Reardon, Tom Rogers, Clive Rose, D'Arcy Short, Matthew Wade.
Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. New points system (0.5pt-5) introduced for 2017. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l