“I think the appeal is that you get to play with some of the best players in the world and you learn a lot and you get to play in a successful team. That’s what the Melbourne Stars culture is all about and I think that’s the appeal rather than how much game time you’ll get,” he said.
“It’s about winning and it’s about playing your role. Every game your role can change and it’s just about doing the right things at the right time. You’re always trying to win the game of cricket that you’re playing but it’s a really tough competition and we fell one win short last year. Hopefully this year we can go one step further.”
Coming off a loss in the Big Final last season, the Stars have gone with continuity this year, signing the same list of players to keep the familiarity and bonds between players strong. But with almost half of the Stars list playing together at the Victorian Bushrangers, the team is very used to each other’s company.
“Obviously having good friends play next to you is comfortable and really nice but I think we’ve got the right mix where we’ve got enough guys from interstate and obviously our two overseas players mixed in with a group of guys that are pretty good friends,” Gulbis said.
“A lot of the boys play for different states and overseas but we keep in contact quite regularly which is quite good.”
“That’s one aspect of the Stars this season – having the same group – and we know each other quite well and better than if you were meeting new people so I think that’s a positive for us.”
With plenty of movement between teams each year, and plenty of new players arriving every season, the Stars’ approach to their list for BBL|06 is quite an uncommon. But for Gulbis, who is no stranger to all the off-season movement having previously played for the Hobart Hurricanes, believes there’s a reason why the Stars is so attractive to players and fans.
“We get the big names with guys like KP and Luke Wright who are some of the best T20 players in the world wanting to come over to our country and show the world what they can do and put on a good show for the fans. I think that’s why Australian T20 is so successful,” he said.
“The Stars is a great organisation and is surrounded by good people and I think that attracts other people to want to be involved. There’s obviously a lot of excitement around the game and the way the Australian public get behind the Stars and get to games is phenomenal.”