For The First Time In History, BBL Will Be Played Over More Than 60 Days:
The tenth edition of the Australian Big Bash League will be launched on December 3rd, in line with the start of the scheduled first test of the Border Gavaskar Trophy, announced by Cricket Australia with the release of the fixtures list on Wednesday. Adeliade Strikers will take Melbourne Renegades home ground at the Adelaide Oval on the opening night while the final is set for February 6.
The tournament starts more than two weeks earlier than the last season, and lasts for more than 60 days-for the first time in the history of the tournament-to make space for the COVID-19 contingencies. The decision to start the season early was made “following thorough consultation with teams, broadcasters and other stakeholders,” CA said in an official statement.
Although most of the 56 matches will be played in the evening, there are only eight double-headers, of which only two start earlier than 5 p.m.
The Women’s Big Bash League is also set to feature a full schedule of 59 games and will continue to take its standalone time as the sixth edition kicks off on October 17 with the finals scheduled for November 27 and 29 and the venue still to be determined. A total of 26 games, including the three Finals, have been scheduled for live coverage.
The WBBL will provide a three-week, mid-season Sydney centre for all eight teams, taking into account biosecurity, broadcast and operational criteria, which will provide additional versatility for fixtures in the current COVID-19 environment.
“While we know that the unpredictable, fast-changing coronavirus pandemic could potentially require a revision of the schedule, there is still a lot to be enjoyed about the way both competitions are shaping up,” said Alistair Dobson, head of the Big Bash League. “It is our sincere hope that the WBBL and the BBL will go some way towards lifting the morale and restoring a sense of normality to the nation.
“The League is delighted to have provided a fixture that involves matches in each club’s home market while at the same time minimizing the overall travel burden on clubs. By concentrating parts of the competition at the central venue (Sydney), it also offers an alternative if the COVID-19 situation affects the season’s flow and we remain vigilant in all aspects of our preparations to provide a secure environment for the players and staff.
“As with all sporting competitions around the world, we will remain proactive and flexible in reacting to the situation of Covid-19 as it evolves, and we will continue to collaborate with all relevant federal and state government agencies, biosecurity experts, venues, clubs, athletes, broadcast partners and our own internal teams to ensure a healthy and productive summer.”