BBL: It will not be a wrong statement to say that the T20 leagues have overshadowed international cricket to some extent. There are various leagues played across the world. The Big Bash League, which came into existence in 2011. It runs from December to February each year, is also one of the most well-known leagues in the world. So far, it has hosted 12 successful seasons, and in fact, the 12th is currently underway.
A total of 61 games take place in one season among the eight BBL teams. However, Cricket Australia (CA) has decided to trim down the league to 43 games in one season for the 2024–25 edition. It is 18 matches less than the current season. The last time a BBL season had 43 games was in 2017–18. The latest rebuild came after a seven-year CA deal with the Foxtel Group and Seven West Media for the broadcasting rights.
Why Big Bash League will be reduced to 43 games
One of the biggest T20 leagues, the BBL, was struggling to get good viewership and broadcasting rights. One of the prime reasons was the lesser involvement of international players in the league. This competition runs during the international schedule of the Australian team. It is the main reason that not many Australian stars have been able to take part in the league. And the latest broadcasting deal will start in mid-2024 and last until the conclusion of the 2030–31 season. The CA has received a deal worth $1.5 billion.
The last deal received for broadcasting in 2018 was for $1.18 billion. It was from Nine Networks. It means that Foxtel and Seven will broadcast all the games in the Big Bash League during the contract period. Notably, apart from the BBL, Foxtel and Seven will also broadcast tests at home for Australia’s men’s team and all international games for the women’s team from 2023 to 2024. The CA confirmed in a press release that “Seven will broadcast all men’s Tests and women’s international matches, 23 WBBL matches and 33 of the 43 BBL matches, including three BBL Finals.”
Warner and Smith to feature in the BBL 2022-23
The BBL had 43 games until the 2017-18 season. But later, it got extended to 61 games per season, with a five-match series for the final. The expansion of the league resulted in the international players’ choosing to opt out of the league due to the clash with their schedules. Notably, the latest BBL season if runnng along side with the three-match test series between Australia and South Africa. The series is set to end on January 8. A few Australian stars have said they will take part in the reminder of the BBL season. David Warner (Sydney Thunder), Steve Smith (Sydney Sixers), and Travis Head (Adelaide Strikers) will be seen in action in the BBL after the conclusion of the test series. The BBL 2022–23 will end on February 14 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.