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Opinion

Invite the Kiwis over the ditch for a turbo-charged summer of cricket

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Roar Rookie
17th May, 2020
11

Sport has been the one constant throughout major world events, with the exception of both World Wars and the current climate that coronavirus has created.

The postponement of the NBA on March 11 forced the entire world into realising the seriousness of the coronavirus epidemic and the impacts it can have.

The subsequent cancellation of every US sports league and then eventually the cricket, AFL and NRL seasons in Australia was a devastating consequence of this virus that made every sport-mad fan across the world be forced into finding other hobbies and something outside of sport to give their lives meaning.

It got me thinking about what a potential summer season of cricket would look like, with an extraordinarily low chance of the virus being gone by the summer meaning that top-level cricket matches are going to look very different.

Cricket Australia has a golden opportunity to revamp the domestic and first-class competitions that Australian fans have been pleading for ever since the Big Bash League took over as the main domestic competition in Australia.

The Sixers pose with the trophy after winning the Big Bash League Final

(Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

The success of both Australia and New Zealand in flattening the coronavirus curve in their respective countries opens the opportunity of a travel bubble between the two countries and a potential super competition with teams from both countries.

For this article, I’m assuming that we live in a perfect world where money isn’t really an issue, and there is a travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand.

I’m proposing to Cricket Australia and Cricket New Zealand that a domestic competition where all six Australian domestic teams and all six New Zealand domestic teams partake in a 12-team competition.

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Four-day games, one-dayers, and T20s are all played, with different formats being worth different points, and the team with the most amount of points being the eventual winners.

Four-day games would be worth six points for a win, three points for a tie, and one point for a draw or an abandoned match. A one-day game is worth four points for a win, two point for a tie, and one point for an abandoned match. A T20 game is worth two points for a win and one point for a tie.

Each team plays a total of 62 games across all formats, with 12 four-day games, 20 one-dayers, and 30 T20s. Each team plays each other a minimum of four times across any format, twice at home and twice away. The season runs from the beginning of September to the end of March.

That equates to 98 days of cricket for each team, assuming all four-day games go the distance. It’s a super competition that opens up the possibility of mouth-watering match-ups, such as Kane Williamson versus Steve Smith, Matt Wade versus Neil Wagner, and Steve Smith versus Tim Southee. That would be seen on a daily basis.

Kane Williamson of New Zealand

(AAP Image/Michael Dodge)

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If games were spread out and scheduled properly, there could be cricket being played almost every day.

It means that fans can actually get behind their respective domestic teams and properly support them, with full-strength domestic teams being on display every single day.

Australia and New Zealand have the opportunity to make their respective state competitions an enjoyable product that people want to watch and follow, instead of the gimmicky Big Bash League.

Shane Watson himself recently came out and stated that the product of the BBL was declining and was focusing more on entertainment and antics rather than the cricket itself.

Will this happen? Probably not, as it would most likely be too expensive, and Cricket Australia in particular has shown in recent years that their main focus is money and cash grabs.