Sydney Sixers
Sydney Sixers. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Big Bash League (BBL) is set to undergo major changes for the upcoming season after a rather lacklustre campaign last time around when the viewership went down significantly. Tournament head Alistair Dobson, Cricket Australia’s (CA) executive in charge of events, Anthony Everard and other BBL managers are set to propose the alterations, necessary for the survival of the event.

The proposals will be put forth during a meet in July among the CA, Australian Cricket Association (ACA) and the umpires playing conditions committee. However, the number of games remains to be the same with 56 regular matches and five games, consisting the playoffs and the Final.

The following are the expected changes in the BBL: –

  • Bonus points available to teams for their progress at the 10-over point of an innings
  • Substitutions also allowed within that same period
  • Power-play split between the first four overs of the innings and two overs floating elsewhere
  • Free-hits for the bowling of wides
  • The addition of extra breaks for advertisements and player strategy after every five overs.
  • A draft for overseas players is also expected to be up for consideration

Earlier, Dave Barham, the TV sports guru who carved a niche for the BBL at Channel 10, publicly raised a number of questions to the CA, regarding the tournament’s size. But the governing body has been hesitant to go into any discussion with broadcasters Fox Sports and Seven. It’s because reduction in content could lead to a discount in the fees owed.

The AFL and NRL have had to cut down on their seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Barham clearly doesn’t want the BBL to continue the same way and reckons that quality shouldn’t be compromised for quantity.

“I hope they’re brave. I hope they actually make some serious change and be brave and be bold because I wouldn’t want the Big Bash continue on the path it’s on,” Barham was quoted as saying in ESPNcricinfo.

“It’ll always be an interesting deal, and I think sports have really got to look at quality over quantity and I always look at the NFL. They’ve got 16 rounds, it’s been 16 rounds for a long time and it’s so easy for sporting administrators to think we need more money, let’s play more, let’s do more,” Barham mentioned.

Source: Cricket News – CricTracker

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