Big Bash League to commence on December 3
Cricket Australia (CA) announced the provisional schedule of the upcoming Big Bash League, on Wednesday. The 10th edition of the T20 tournament will begin on December 3 with Adelaide Strikers hosting Melbourne Renegades. Notably, a total number of 61 matches will be played across the country. Meanwhile, the Women's BBL will take place from October 17 to November 29. Here is more.
The leagues will follow strict health guidelines
Big Bash chief Alistair Dobson said the league would follow stern health protocols to ensure the safety of the public, players and support staff. "Scheduling in the time of coronavirus is not without its challenges, as we have seen," said Dobson. "There are factors outside the league itself which could impact (the schedule) at a later date."
The schedule could be marred by COVID-19 outbreak
After announcing the schedule, Cricket Australia also acknowledged the tournament may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It could face challenges as Melbourne and Sydney recently experienced spike in the number of coronavirus cases. This has led to restriction of interstate travel in Australia. However, as per the current schedule, the matches will be played all around the country.
BBL to coincide with Australia-India Test series
The tournament opener will coincide with Day 1 of the first Test between Australia and India at The Gabba. Meanwhile, the final will be played on February 6. The BBL will run for eight nights before it takes a five-day break for Australia's day-night Test with India on December 11-15. In the Women's BBL, as many as 59 games will be held.
Full schedule of Big Bash League 2020-21
More changes will be announced shortly
The impending season will see an extra 11 games scheduled to begin in prime-time slots compared to last summer. Most of the games will start at 7:15 PM (Local). Fox Cricket, cricket.com.au and the CA Live app will broadcast all 56 regular season games including finals. Although BBL will announce further innovations soon, a draft system could be introduced for international players.
Australia A tours still on hold
At the moment, Australia A tours and Cricket Australia XI games are on hold due to the pandemic, but the domestic Sheffield Shield and home international series are planned to go ahead. Besides, ICC is yet to decide the fate of T20 World Cup.
A look at how the 2019 BBL panned out
The 2019 edition of Big Bash League saw 56 league games along with the playoffs (Eliminator, Qualifier, Knockout, Challenger and Final). Sydney Sixers were crowned champions after defeating Melbourne Stars in the final by 19 runs. Marcus Stoinis was named the Player of the Tournament, having amassed 705 runs at 54.23. Bowling all-rounder Daniel Sams emerged as the leading wicket-taker (30).