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The Big Bash League, the premier Australia T20 competition, is in its 10th edition in 2020/21 and has a rather rich history. It features eight city-based franchises. It was the first major T20 franchise league since the Indian Premier League when it launched in 2011/12.
The Big Bash League matches are played in the months of December, January and February. Of the eight teams, six teams have won a title in the first nine years showcasing the kind of strength each has in this competition. The Perth Scorchers are the most successful franchise in the BBL, winning the title thrice.
|Year||Team||Runner-up||Big Bash Final Result|
|2012||Sydney Sixers||Perth Scorchers||Sixers won by 7 wickets|
|2013||Brisbane Heat||Perth Scorchers||Heat won by 34 runs|
|2014||Perth Scorchers||Hobart Hurricanes||Scorchers won by 39 runs|
|2015||Perth Scorchers||Sydney Sixers||Scorchers won by 4 wickets|
|2016||Sydney Thunder||Melbourne Stars||Thunder won by 3 wickets|
|2017||Perth Scorchers||Sydney Sixers||Scorchers won by 9 wickets|
|2018||Adelaide Strikers||Hobart Hurricanes||Strikers won by 25 runs|
|2019||Melbourne Renegades||Melbourne Stars||Renegades won by 13 runs|
|2020||Sydney Sixers||Melbourne Stars||Sixers won by 19 runs|
The BBL has seen several records over the years. Here are some of the highlights:
The competition had received flak for failing to maintain crowds and interest with long seasons and lack of international cricketers from Australia itself. In order to spice up the competition, the bat flip replaced the toss a couple of seasons ago. In the 2020/21 edition of the Big Bash League, there are quite a lot more changes with rules modified to spike interest. Let’s look at the rule changes for the 2020/21 edition.
Overseas players: Instead of the usual two overseas players allowed in a playing XI, franchises can now choose upto three overseas players in the final team. With more international talent, it is expected that the competition becomes more watchable.
Power Surge – The mandatory powerplay at the beginning of an innings is now made into just four overs instead of the customary six followed in T20 competitions. The remaining two-over slab can be used when the batting team desires. However, it is to be noted that the batting side can use this two-over slab only after the 11th over of the innings. The fielding restrictions will follow that of the powerplay.
X-factor Player – It’s basically the ‘super-sub’ rule that was tried in international cricket a few years back. The X-factor player can be anyone outside the XI named as one of the first 13 players before the start of a game. The 12th or 13th player in the team can be substituted for another player post the halfway point in the first innings. He can only replace a player who is yet to bat, or hasn’t bowled more than one over.
Bash Boost – A bonus point is awarded to a team that wins the 10-over mark battle. Whoever scores more in the first 10 overs will now get an additional bonus point irrespective of the result of the game.
The Big Bash League has followed a very similar pattern in terms of formats over the years. While the inaugural season had 28 group games, since then it’s been 32 matches in the group phase. Since 2018/19, this moved up to 56 games with each team playing the other twice like in the Indian Premier League.
The regular semi-final and final structure stood for a good many years with the four top teams after the league stage qualifying to the semis. This structure was changed in 2019/20.
It added an extra team to the next stage where the fourth and fifth team met in an eliminator. The first and second placed teams play the qualifier with the winner going through to the final. The knockout had the third-placed team playing the winner of the eliminator.
The Challenger round then has the winner of the knockout playing the loser of the qualifier. The final will then be between the winner of the Challenger and the winner of the qualifier. This way, the standings in the league stage becomes important. The first amd second placed team has a distinct advantage in that they can directly get to the finals by winning the qualifier.
The points system is pretty straightforward. The winning team will get 2 points. If there is a washout or the match is abandoned for some reason, the points are split (1 each) by the two teams. If a match ends in a tie, the customary Super Over decides the winner and the winning side gets the whole two points.
The Bash Boost also factors in the bonus point. So the winner of the 10-over mark gets an additional one point from this season. So the maximum points a team can get from a fixture is now three.
The Big Bash League has had its fair share of superstars over the years. The Australian side has benefitted from a lot of them, but the Big Bash itself has enjoyed their services to serve the fans.
A special mention goes to AB de Villiers in the BBL, a stint that not many expected or rated. A massive signing by the Brisbane Heat in the 2019/20 edition, the South African superstar played just six matches for the Heat and scored 146 runs at an average of 24.33. While his returns weren’t great, de Villiers was perhaps the biggest overseas signing ever made in the Big Bash League history. A franchise cricket faithful now, having retired from international cricket, de Villiers won’t play in the 2020/21 edition due to the imminent birth of his child and the quarantine measures needed in these Covid-19 times.
Cricket Betting Live Scores has live scoring for all international, franchise and lower division matches for cricket from most countries where the sport is popular. The Live Cricket Score section in the site has live scores, recent results, full commentary coverage for Test matches.
The section also shows the latest odds from all the top online Cricket Betting sites during and before a game. The odds comparison can be viewed live and will allow you to check the betting site that offers the best odds.
Recently, Cricket Australia increased the prize money in the Big Bash League to $890,000 for the four finalist teams. The champions get $450,000 while the runners up get $260,000. The semi-finalists get $80,000 each while the fifth placed side gets $20,000.
The BBL has attracted large audiences with the Adelaide Oval once witnessing a crowd of over 52,000 which was a record in the BBL. In 2015/16, Perth Scorchers sold out their home games at Perth for the entire season becoming the first to do so. The crowd attracted has also varied based on the franchise. In the last edition – the 2019/20 one – the Big Bash League saw an average crowd of 18,000. The franchise that attracted the most crowd were the Perth Scorchers.
The Big Bash League has been played across 17 venues in Australia. The WACA in Perth has hosted four finals. But it’s no longer the home ground of the Perth Scorchers who play in the Optus Stadium. The MCG, with a seating capacity over 1,00,000 remains the largest ground hosting the BBL.