Australian players embrace Mitchell Starc after he dismissed Wahab Riaz of Pakistan in the Boxing Day test match between Australia and Pakistan at the MCG in Melbourne, Friday, Dec. 30, 2016. (AAP Image/Julian Smith) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY, IMAGES TO BE USED FOR NEWS REPORTING PURPOSES ONLY, NO COMMERCIAL USE WHATSOEVER, NO USE IN BOOKS WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT FROM AAP
Australian players embrace Mitchell Starc after he dismissed Wahab Riaz of Pakistan in the Boxing Day test match between Australia and Pakistan at the MCG in Melbourne, Friday, Dec. 30, 2016. (AAP Image/Julian Smith) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY, IMAGES TO BE USED FOR NEWS REPORTING PURPOSES ONLY, NO COMMERCIAL USE WHATSOEVER, NO USE IN BOOKS WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT FROM AAP JULIAN SMITH

CRYSTAL BALL: 10 national sport predictions for 2017

WE gaze into the crystal ball to see what 2017 will deliver on the world's various sporting fields.

What do you expect to happen this year?

1. Brisbane Heat will win the men's Big Bash League title, while their Women's Big Bash League side will bow out in the first week of the finals.

2. Heat opener Beth Mooney will cement her place in the Southern Stars side as a batter.

3. Melbourne Storm win the NRL premierships, Canberra Raiders will reach the preliminary finals while Newcastle Knights "win" another wooden spoon.

4. Western Bulldogs will bow out in the AFL finals as the Sydney Swans win the flag.

5. Sunshine Coast Lightning and Queensland Firebirds meet in the inaugural Suncorp Super Netball competition. Firebirds win.

6. Chris Latham will shine in his Queensland Reds return at the Brisbane Global Tens, though the Auckland Blues will reign supreme.

7. Nick Kyrgios reaches a major tournament final, loses, then quits tennis for six months.

8. Brisbane Roar reaches the A-League final but nothing can stop the juggernaut that is Sydney FC.

9. Mitchell Starc will cement his place as Australian cricket's No.7 batsman and world's most lethal bowler but we still won't settle on a wicket-keeper by the year's end.

10. There will be at least one off-field scandal in each the NRL and AFL that causes fans to question their love of sport. After Mitchell Pearce's effort last year there's no guessing what it could involve.



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