Melbourne, July 14 (IANS) The 11th edition of the Big Bash League (BBL) will be played from December 5 to January 28, Cricket Australia announced.
The schedule includes ‘eight days’, up from six last year, where Test cricket action will be followed by a BBL double header in the night.
A proposed draft for overseas players was scrapped for the second time due to the ongoing pandemic. Alistair Dobson, Cricket Australia’s head of the Big Bash, admitted that the quarantine requirements might bring hesitation in participation of some overseas players.
“Some players won’t be up for it, and we totally respect that and understand that it’s been an incredible challenge,” Dobson told cricket.com.au about the quarantine requirements.
“It isn’t getting any easier and at this point, everyone needs clarity and certainty around the contracting landscape. So, we’ve made the decision to postpone (the draft) for another year, with the intention of bringing it in when – fingers crossed – the landscape is clearer and we can give what we think is a great idea the best chance to be successful,” he said.
Dobson is hopeful that players from England will be a part of the BBL.
“Last year we saw a great group of English players playing in the BBL and the fact their team’s coming out anyway, we hope that might make things simpler and more straight forward. Having those two national sides in the country gives us a chance to work more closely with those players.”
The BBL boss feels optimistic about some matches from the league clashing with the Ashes.
“If a day’s play finishes early in a Test or a Test finishes early, the Big Bash is there to keep people excited about cricket. We know that the BBL is at its strongest when there’s really strong Test cricket during the day and the BBL at night,” he said.
“We know that any BBL after a day’s play of Test cricket has a bump (in TV ratings) compared to a non-Test Day. The double-headers just take advantage of that even more, and they allow us to complete the 56 games within the right window for the competition.”
The 11th season of the BBL will begin with Sydney Sixers taking on Melbourne Stars at the Sydney Cricket Ground.