Selectors will be breathing a sigh of relief, with Australian ODI captain Aaron Finch leading the charge in a match-winning partnership with Shaun Marsh in the series opening win over Pakistan.
It was in 1977 that Kerry Packer envisaged a new look for the sport of cricket: a fast paced, action filled half a day that had colour and character. A fans cricket, if you like.
Fast forward to 2003 and the ECB decided that cricket needed a second shake up, thus the birth of Twenty20 cricket, a shorter, sharper 90 minute spectacle – a game for everyone to enjoy.
Cricket Australia has jumped all over the chance to increase publicity for the sport, becoming the first country to host a Twenty 20 international and now taking the KFC Big Bash national format to a whole new level. The Big Bash League (BBL), as it will be known, will debut in December with a completely new look.
After tampering with the 50 over version of the game last summer, CA have sent the state versus state concept out the window and opened up a whole new world that cricket in Australia hasn’t yet seen – a team in every state, including two in both Melbourne and Sydney.
Following the lead of their English and Indian counterparts, the Big Bash League is set to be just as big and rival both the Indian Premier League and the T20 County Championships.
Out with the just state versus state, in with the interstate. Local derbys and showcase games, two things that cricket hasn’t seen in a while with the new and improved T20 format, will become a reality and bring the crowds.
The team locations, names, colours and venues are listed below, one from each state and two from both NSW and Melbourne:
Adelaide Strikers – Blue – Adelaide Oval.
Brisbane Heat – Teal – Gabba.
Hobart Hurricanes – Purple – Bellerive Oval.
Perth Scorchers – Orange – WACA Ground.
Melbourne Renegades – Red – Etihad Stadium.
Melbourne Stars – Green – MCG.
Sydney Sixers -Pink – SCG.
Sydney Thunder – Electric Green – ANZ Stadium.
The Big Bash league is set to take the country by storm; capital cities will host these new sides with fans being able to be close to the action. In Melbourne games are to be played at both the MCG and Etihad Stadium, and in Sydney the SCG and ANZ Stadium will host the Sixers and the Thunder.
Cricket Australia has made a point to distinguish the Big Bash League from traditional forms of the game. New brighter colours have been adopted in order to keep away from those of the state competitions and names have been changed to give home to these sides within their respective cities – also to add some excitement to the sport.
Melbourne will play host to the Stars and Renegades. Victorians are looking forward to this competition as much as anyone else, another local rivalry to add to the many that are played out in this very state as well as the players that have been named for their respective teams. The Renegades have signed all-time T20 highest run scorer Brad Hodge as well as Andrew Macdonald and South Australian quick Shaun Tait – just some of the names that will head out in Renegade Red.
Their crosstown rivals the Stars have managed to sign the majority of Bushrangers players to their franchise including Australian T20 skipper Cameron White, David Hussey, Peter Siddle and West Australian Adam Voges.
The competition is sure to set the Australian cricket scene alight this summer. In with the new and improved as crowds are sure to flock to games right around the country. It all kicks off December – a T20 revolution.