When are the fixtures announced?
May 14, 2019 10:24am
by STAFF WRITERS
The Big Bash League will tweak its schedule and contracting rules for next season, boosting franchises’ abilities to lure big name talent.
Clubs will now be allowed to contract up to six overseas players across the season - up from four in previous years. Only two overseas players can be on an 18-man roster at any one time, but an additional four can be contracted as replacements.
But that won’t be the only change next season geared towards boosting the amount of big name BBL recruits. The Australian understands next season will be ten days shorter, making the competition more attractive to overseas talent not looking to spend months away from home.
Acting head of BBL Abhi Arunachalam told the publication that contracting rules have been changed to afford clubs greater flexibility when dealing with “the needs of overseas players”, which may include shorter stints.
“We’re confident that it’ll result in a great mix of overseas players and domestic talent that has contributed to the success the BBL is today,” Arunachalam said.
Cricket Australia executive general manager of fan engagement Anthony Everard said on the weekend that the contracting rule change was a “fantastic result” for the BBL.
“... clubs [have been] given a better chance at securing international players on a short-term basis to fit into an increasingly competitive global cricketing calendar,” he said in a statement.
Much of the off-season has been dominated by talks of the schedule - extended last season to 59 games - and the competition’s ability to lure overseas talent.
The concerns have been highlighted by the retirement of Shane Watson from the BBL, as well as the reluctance of T20 megastar AB de Villiers to sign a contract.
The South African was understood to be keen on a short stint in the BBL next season but withdrew over concerns about how much attention the negotiations were receiving.
de Villiers was being offered for an eight-game stint around $200,000 with the possibility to earn more from broadcasters and sponsors, The Australian reported.