Big Bash League
The Big Bash League (BBL, also known as the KFC Big Bash League for sponsorship reasons) is an Australian professional Twenty20 cricket league, which was established in 2011 by Cricket Australia. The Big Bash League replaced the previous competition, the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash, and features eight city-based franchises instead of the six state teams which had participated previously. The competition has been sponsored by fast food chicken outlet KFC since its inception.
Official BBL Logo
|Tournament format||Round-robin and knockout finals|
|Number of teams||8|
|Current champion||Adelaide Strikers (1st title)|
|Most successful||Perth Scorchers|
|Most runs||Michael Klinger (1,802)|
|Most wickets||Ben Laughlin (85)|
BBL matches are played in Australia during the summer in the months of December, January and February.
Out of the eight teams in the tournament, five have won the title at least once. The Perth Scorchers are the most successful team in the league's short history, winning the title three times including consecutively for two years and have reached the final of the tournament in five of the seven seasons. The other four teams which have won the title are Adelaide Strikers, Sydney Sixers, Brisbane Heat and Sydney Thunder. The current champions are the Adelaide Strikers.
Before 2014, the top two teams in the tournament used to qualify for the Champions League Twenty20 tournament. It was an annual international Twenty20 competition played between the top domestic teams from various nations. However, the CLT20 became defunct after the 2014 tournament.
A design contest was held in 2011 to determine the design of the Big Bash League trophy. The competition was restricted to Australian designers, with the final design, chosen by the public from a field of three, revealed on 13 December 2011.
It had been proposed that the tournament would undergo expansion into more regional areas not supported by international cricket. The expansion was planned to be implemented in 2012. The proposed teams included: Newcastle, Canberra, Geelong, and Gold Coast. A New Zealand-based team was also mentioned as a possibility which would be based at Auckland or Christchurch, but this is unlikely to happen. Cricket expert Mark Waugh commented on Fox Sports that an expansion could dilute the player pool resulting in a sub-standard league. The expansion proposal was eventually dumped, mainly because the proposed cities lacked the proper cricket hosting facilities.
In 2015, former Black Caps captain and Melbourne Stars coach Stephen Fleming suggested the expansion of the tournament to include New Zealand teams and become a trans-Tasman competition. He said an expansion into New Zealand would be widely supported by locals. His views were also supported by Brisbane Heat coach and former Black Caps captain Daniel Vettori. Melbourne Renegades chief executive Stuart Coventry also stated that he wants Cricket Australia to grant each club a fifth home fixture next season. Coventry said the BBL was ready to expand from 8 to 10 games, and adding matches would further establish the franchises.
In 2016, Anthony Everard, head of the BBL, flagged the league's intentions to approach expansion through a soft launch. He stated the short to medium term goal was to schedule BBL games involving existing franchises in regional markets before potentionally adding new teams after the 2017/18 season when the broadcast deal expired. He also indicated the regional markets of Canberra, Geelong and Gold Coast will likely host games during the soft launch period. On 27 January 2017, Everard announced an extra eight matches would be added to the 2017/18 season and implored each existing franchise to look at new markets when considering where the extra games would be played.
Women's Big Bash LeagueEdit
Former women's Test captain and Head of Brisbane's Centre of Excellence, Belinda Clark, revealed on 19 January 2014 that planning for a women's BBL was in its early stages but could become a reality very soon. She stated that the proposal was being considered due to the huge rise in television ratings in the BBL 03 season and the rise in women's cricket popularity.
On 19 February 2015, Cricket Australia announced that a Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) would commence in the 2015–16 season, with teams aligned to the men's competition. It was announced that the teams would share the names and colours of the existing men's BBL teams, meaning that there would be two teams from Sydney and Melbourne and one team from Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Hobart.
Christmas Day matchEdit
In December 2015, Cricket Australia revealed that they are looking into the possibility of hosting a Christmas Day BBL match in the coming years, possibly after the next season. If the proposal is passed, it would be a first in the history of Australian sport since no professional matches are played in Australia on Christmas Day. "It is something we have just recently started discussing, the possibilities of that. We're talking about playing a Christmas Eve match, we already play Boxing Day," CA's Executive GM (Operations) Mike McKenna said. This has not yet occurred, but in September 2018, it was reported that Cricket Australia had struck a deal with the Players Association to play BBL matches on Christmas Day.
Since the inception of the BBL in 2011, the tournament has followed the same format every year except the inaugural season. The first BBL season had 28 group stage matches, before expanding to 32 in the following season.
Currently in the eight team format, each team plays every other team at least once during a season. However, each team is also assigned a particular "rival" with which they play for the second time in the same season. The assigned 'rival' for a team does not change generally in different seasons. Cross-town teams such as Melbourne Renegades and Melbourne Stars have been assigned as "rivals" to each other. This allows BBL to have 2 Melbourne derbies as well as 2 Sydney derbies within a single season.
In the early years of the tournament, the group stage matches were divided into eight rounds, with four matches played in each round. Each team played eight group stage matches, four at home and four away, before the top four ranked teams progressed to the semi finals. Thus, the total number of matches during the season tallied up to 35, with 32 group stage matches and three knock out matches. In BBL 07 (2017/18 Season) the format changed so that there would be 40 group stage matches with each team playing 10 matches before the semi finals. The season was held over a similar time-frame thus resulting in more doubleheaders (one game afternoon, one game night) and teams playing more regularly. The 2018 Big Bash League season is the longest ever BBL season ever, with an expanded 59 game season, with each team playing 14 home and away matches before two semi finals and the Big Final.
The final of the tournament is played at the home ground of the highest-ranked team. The only exception to this rule was 2014–15 season when the final was played at a neutral venue (Manuka Oval), due to the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
The competition features eight city-based franchises, instead of the six state-based teams which had previously competed in the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash. Each state's capital city features one team, with Sydney and Melbourne featuring two. The team names and colours for all teams were officially announced on 6 April 2011. The Melbourne Derby and Sydney Derby matches are some of the most heavily attended matches during the league and are widely anticipated by the fans. The Scorchers and Sixers have also developed a rivalry between them over the years and their matches attract good crowds and TV ratings.
As of now, a single city-based franchise can have a maximum of 18 contracted players for a season. Each team should have a minimum of two rookie contracts and a maximum of two overseas players in the squad. Each team can also have a maximum of two overseas replacement players, in case the original overseas players get injured or withdraw due to particular reason.
Out of the eight teams in the tournament, five have won the title at least once. The Perth Scorchers are the most successful team in the league's history, winning the title three times including consecutively for two seasons in 2013–14 and 2014–15. They are the champions of Big Bash League 2016–17, and they also hold the record for reaching the final of the tournament the most times, doing so consecutively in the first four seasons. In contrast, only two other teams have reached the final twice. The other four teams which have won the title are the Sydney Sixers in the inaugural season (2011–12), the Brisbane Heat in the second season (2012–13), the Sydney Thunder in 2015–16  and the Adelaide Strikers in 2017-18
The WACA Ground has hosted the final on four occasions, more than any other venue. In fact, the final of the 2014–15 BBL season would have also been hosted by WACA Ground if it was awarded to the home ground of the highest-ranked team, as in previous seasons. However, Manuka Oval was awarded the rights to host the final of 2014–15 BBL season as a neutral venue.
|Season||Final||Final host||Final venue|
3/158 (18.5 overs)
|Sixers won by 7 wickets
5/156 (20 overs)
|Perth Scorchers||WACA Ground|
5/167 (20 overs)
|Heat won by 34 runs
9/133 (20 overs)
|Perth Scorchers||WACA Ground|
4/191 (20 overs)
|Scorchers won by 39 runs
7/152 (20 overs)
|Perth Scorchers||WACA Ground|
6/148 (20 overs)
|Scorchers won by 4 wickets
5/147 (20 overs)
|Canberra/Perth Scorchers||Manuka Oval|
7/181 (19.3 overs)
|Thunder won by 3 wickets
9/176 (20 overs)
1/144 (15.5 overs)
|Scorchers won by 9 wickets
9/141 (20 overs)
|Perth Scorchers||WACA Ground|
2/202 (20 overs)
|Strikers won by 25 runs
5/177 (20 overs)
|Adelaide Strikers||Adelaide Oval|
|Adelaide Strikers||6th||5th||7th||SF (1st)||SF (1st)||6th||W (2nd)|
|Brisbane Heat||5th||W (4th)||5th||8th||6th||SF (2nd)||7th|
|Hobart Hurricanes||SF (2nd)||6th||R (4th)||5th||7th||7th||R (4th)|
|Melbourne Renegades||7th||SF (1st)||6th||6th||5th||5th||SF (3rd)|
|Melbourne Stars||SF (4th)||SF (3rd)||SF (1st)||SF (3rd)||R (2nd)||SF (4th)||8th|
|Perth Scorchers||R (1st)||R (2nd)||W (3rd)||W (2nd)||SF (3rd)||W (1st)||SF (1st)|
|Sydney Sixers||W (3rd)||7th||SF (2nd)||R (4th)||8th||R (3rd)||5th|
|Sydney Thunder||8th||8th||8th||7th||W (4th)||8th||6th|
- W = Winner; R = Runner-up; SF = Semifinalist
- (x) = End of league games table position
Salary cap and contracting periodEdit
The Big Bash League's salary cap was $1.05 million for the third season, a $50,000 increase from the two previous seasons, which were played under a salary cap of $1 million. In February 2015, BBL salary cap increased to $1.30 million for the fifth season of BBL.
Currently, the salary cap has increased to $1.60 million. Under the $1.60 million salary cap, a team can sign a total of 18 contracted players consisting of a minimum of 2 rookie contracts and maximum of 2 overseas players. In addition, 2 overseas replacement players can also be signed by a team.
|Contracting Details (per team)|
|Retainer Pool Amount (excluding superannuation)||$1.60 million|
|Number of Contracts||18|
|Number of Rookie Contracts||2|
|Maximum Overseas Players in squad of 18||2|
|Maximum Replacement Overseas Players||2|
The key dates for the sixth season during the contracting period are as follows.
- January 27 – Contracting start date
- January 27 to February 26 – First Trade period (During this period, BBL clubs are allowed to trade contracted players to another club at any stage of their contract)
- July 1 – BBL Round 1 contracting date (At this time, all BBL clubs must have contracted a minimum of 10 players)
- November 14 to November 18 – Second Trade period (During this period, BBL clubs are allowed to trade contracted players to another club at any stage of their contract)
- December 2 – Contracting end date (At this time, all clubs must have completed their 18-player squads, including the Community and Development Rookie contracts)
- December 6 – Supplementary list end date
Cricket Australia increased the prize money for the BBL to a total of $890,000 for the four finalists from 2015–16 season, after the Champions League Twenty20 tournament was discontinued with effect from 2015. The prize money will be split between the teams as follows:
- $20,000 – To the team finishing fifth in the season
- $80,000 – To each losing semi-finalist
- $260,000 – To the Runner up
- $450,000 – To the Champion of the season
Average home crowds for the regular season are listed below. These figures do not include finals matches. The figures for the whole season average include the finals. Post-Christmas matches have historically been the highest attended period for the League. BBL has provided a platform to create interest in playing cricket among younger children, due to its big hitting, high scoring and entertaining nature of the game.
The 2014–15 season saw record domestic cricket crowds in the states of South Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania and the ACT, including a record attendance of 52,633 at the Adelaide Strikers' home semi-final, which was then the biggest ever crowd at the redeveloped Adelaide Oval.
In the 2015–16 season, attendance figure records continued to be broken across all the venues. Perth Scorchers became the first ever BBL team to sell out all of its home matches in a season. On 2 January 2016, the BBL single match attendance record was surpassed, with a crowd of 80,883 watching the first of two Melbourne derbies between the Melbourne Stars and the Melbourne Renegades at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The Big Bash League also entered the top 10 most attended sports leagues in the world with respect to average crowd per match in this season.
|Adelaide Strikers||21,986||13,319||23,703||36,023||42,437||41,275|| 33,951|
|Hobart Hurricanes||10,517||12,107||9,552||13,776||16,640||17,570|| 13,536|
|Melbourne Renegades||13,324||13,184||21,929||22,324||29,010||30,033|| 28,315|
|Sydney Thunder||18,423||10,278||14,866||17,938||19,333||20,688|| 15,432|
BBL games are currently broadcast in Australia on free-to-air television by the Seven Network and subscription television by Fox Sports. The Seven Network broadcasts 43 of 59 Matches including the Semi-Finals & Grand Final. Fox Sports televises all 59 Matches including 16 Matches exclusively. 
Network Ten's BBL coverage became a regular feature of Australian summers and attracted an average audience of more than 943,000 people nationally in 2014–15 season, including a peak audience of 1.9 million viewers for the final between the Scorchers and Sixers.
The 2015–16 season attracted an average audience of 1.13 million for each match in Australia this season, an 18% increase on the previous season. A cumulative audience of 9.65 million watched the matches in Australia, out of which 39% were females. The opening Sydney Derby match of the season attracted a peak audience of 1.53 million. The last group match between Renegades and Strikers in Session 2 was watched by an average audience of 1.36 million, which peaked at 1.67 million. The BBL Final was watched by an average audience of 1.79 million, which peaked at 2.24 million viewers. This was the first time that the ratings for a BBL match crossed the 2 million mark.
A total of 10 grounds have been used to host BBL matches to date. Sydney Thunder moved out of Stadium Australia after 2014–15 season and relocated to Spotless Stadium for the next 10 years. The Final of the tournament is played at the home ground of the highest-ranked team. The WACA has hosted the final four times, more than any other venue. Manuka Oval hosted the final of 2014–15 BBL season as a neutral venue primarily because other major grounds were being prepared for the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
Perth Stadium was scheduled to replace the WACA as the home ground of Perth Scorchers starting from 2018–19. However, with the Scorchers reaching the 2017–18 BBL semi-finals, Perth's 1 February 2018 home match against Hobart Hurricanes (and the doubleheader WBBL match between Perth and Sydney Thunder) became the second public event at Perth Stadium. Main reasons behind the move are poor facilities at the ground as well as low spectator capacity.
In September 2017 the Adelaide Strikers agreed to play one home BBL and WBBL match at Traeger Park in Alice Springs over the course of BBL|07. In 2018, they announced that one BBL and two WBBL matches will be held at Traeger Park for BBL|08 and BBL|09. In BBL|07 The Melbourne Renegades will also play a match at Kardinia Park in Geelong, Victoria and the Hobart Hurricanes will play a match at UTAS Stadium in Launceston. The Hobart Hurricanes will also play two BBL and two WBBL matches at UTAS Stadium for BBL|08 and BBL|09. They also announced that two WBBL matches would be played at Burnie's West Park against the Melbourne Stars (WBBL).
|Name of the stadium||Capacity||City||Home team|
|Adelaide Oval||53,583||Adelaide||Adelaide Strikers|
|Blundstone Arena||19,500||Hobart||Hobart Hurricanes|
|Marvel Stadium||53,359||Melbourne||Melbourne Renegades|
|Perth Stadium||60,000||Perth||Perth Scorchers|
|The Gabba||42,000||Brisbane||Brisbane Heat|
|Melbourne Cricket Ground||100,024||Melbourne||Melbourne Stars|
|Spotless Stadium||22,000||Sydney||Sydney Thunder|
|Sydney Cricket Ground||48,000||Sydney||Sydney Sixers|
|UTAS Stadium||21,000||Launceston||Hobart Hurricanes|
|GMHBA Stadium||34,000||Geelong||Melbourne Renegades|
|Traeger Park||10,000||Alice Springs||Adelaide Strikers|
|Manuka Oval||12,000||Canberra||Neutral Venue (BBL 04 Final)|
|Metricon Stadium||25,000||Gold Coast||Brisbane Heat|
|Ted Summerton Reserve||7,500||Moe||Melbourne Stars|
|Stadium Australia||82,000||Sydney||Sydney Thunder (2011–2014)|
|WACA Ground||20,000||Perth||Perth Scorchers (2011–2018)|
Records and statisticsEdit
Here is a list of Big Bash League records. All records are based on statistics at espncricinfo.com. Perth Scorchers captain and opening batsman Michael Klinger currently holds the record of scoring most runs in the league. He has played 41 matches in the BBL so far, starting from 2011. The record of taking most wickets in the league belongs to Ben Laughlin, who currently plays for Adelaide Strikers. He has represented Hobart Hurricanes in the past, and has played a total of 43 BBL matches since 2011.
|Most runs||Michael Klinger||1,802|
|Highest average||Usman Khawaja||50.31|
|Highest score||D'Arcy Short||122* vs Brisbane Heat (10 January 2018)|
|Highest partnership||Rob Quiney & Luke Wright||172 vs Hobart Hurricanes (9 January 2012)|
|Most sixes||Chris Lynn||102|
|Most wickets||Ben Laughlin||85|
|Lowest average||Rashid Khan||13.83|
|Best strike rate||Yasir Arafat||13.6|
|Best economy rate||Lasith Malinga||5.40|
|Best bowling figures||Lasith Malinga||6/7 vs Perth Scorchers (12 December 2012)|
|Best bowling figures by a debutant||Daniel Sams||4/14 vs Sydney Thunder (19 December 2017)|
|Most dismissals (wicket-keeper)||Tim Ludeman||33|
|Most catches (fielder)||Glenn Maxwell||29|
|Highest total||Hobart Hurricanes||223–8 (20) vs Melbourne Renegades (12 January 2017)|
|Lowest total||Melbourne Renegades||57 (12.4) vs Melbourne Stars (3 January 2015)|
Last updated on 1 May 2018
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- Sydney Sixers v Perth Scorchers sportsbanter.com.au. Retrieved on 4 December 2015
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- Big Bash League: Infant tournament now part of Australian cricket's summer fabric heraldsun.com.au. Retrieved on 25 November 2015.
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- Includes one regular season home game played at Traeger Park in Alice Springs where the attendance was 3,906, 27 January 2018, etc.
- Includes one regular season home game played at UTAS Stadium in Launceston where the attendance was 16,734, 27 January 2018, etc.
- Includes one regular season home game played at Kardinia Park in Geelong where the attendance was 23,586, 27 January 2018, etc.
- Includes one regular season home game played at Manuka Oval in Canberra where the attendance was 11,319, 27 January 2018, etc.
- Bailey, Scott (13 April 2018). "End of an era confirmed: Foxtel and Seven snatch cricket rights from Nine". The Roar. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
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- Session 2: 1.36 mil Peak 1.67 mil Audience up 41% on 2014–15 Session 2 ave #BBL05 Malcolm Conn – Commercial Manager, Cricket Australia. Retrieved on 25 January 2016
- SBIG ratings for BIG #BBL05 #BBLFinal! 1.79 mil watched @ThunderBBL win their first title. Peak 2.24 mil Audience up 17% 2015 final session 2 Malcolm Conn – Commercial Manager, Cricket Australia. Retrieved on 25 January 2016
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- Big Bash League/Records/Cup records espncricinfo.com. Retrieved on 6 January 2015