I am an unapologetic fan of the Big Bash, which has been my pre-vaccine vaccine to this winter of discontentment. I love that it is on most nights and the cricket can just flow over you – it is the non-pharmacologic therapeutic intervention I didn’t know I needed.
Nonetheless, it could do with some feedback from a fan.
The matches have become too long. Some matches were going past 11 o’clock which is unsuitable for young families watching at home – one certainly cannot expect young fans to attend matches if games finish this late.
Prolonged match times are a product of the revamped structure, with ten over breaks, unnecessary 12th-man interruptions, and possibly broadcasters trying to understandably get more return on their investment.
Cut the ten over breaks, prohibit interruptions where possible, reduce the innings break, and Have officials police the over rates.
Games need to be wrapped up within three hours, starting at 6:30pm.
The new rules have been adequate.
I accept the Bash Boost point has contributed to more lopsided results but I’ve also found it an interesting tactical talking point.
Bash Boost points are more tangible than net run rates as a ladder determinant. I would be tempted to extend the field restrictions by an over upfront, as this would further limit the physiological dead time in the middle of an innings. To counter this, I’d allow one bowler to have five overs. If we want to see the best bowlers against the best batsmen, this idea makes sense.
The x-factor hasn’t been regularly employed. I’d be happy to keep the current substitution criteria but I’d enable it to happen anytime rather than strictly at the ten-over mark.
Considering the commentary talent is split between networks, both teams have been reasonable. It frustrates me that networks continue to employ former players – just because they could play the game doesn’t make them good commentators. It is an entirely different skill set. If anything it could hinder their commentary performance as they will be less objective.
The season was too long.
Cricket Australia got away with this one, as we were so sport-thirsty with COVID, but the season needs to be shortened.
It is unfair to criticise the scheduling too much, given the obvious complexities of the pandemic, but it would be preferable to schedule it outside the domestic Test series to make our heroes eligible.
Only four teams should make the final as when five out of the eight qualify, it devalues the season’s regular fixtures.
But despite arguing for a shorter season, given Canberra hosted several matches with aplomb, I would consider adding an ACT team. Perhaps this could be like the youth Cricket Australia XI team – just as long as they don’t recall Merv Hughes out of retirement, like the old Canberra Comets did.
Areas for improvement
It’s unfair that full-strength beer is in the members at the SCG but not in the outer. If we expect fans to turn out and pay top dollar, we should show them some respect with full-strength beer.
One of my favourite memories from domestic one-day cricket was the strategically-placed Mercantile Mutual signs on the fence. If players hit them, there was a handsome cash prize – when Steve Waugh hit the sign in 1995 he won $140,000. Bring this back!
In the New Zealand domestic competition, a certain amount of fans are given bright coloured T-shirts and if they catch a six, there is a cash prize. This could add entertainment value – perhaps KFC could offer that prize to people if they catch a six in their bucket hat?
Put heartrate monitors on the players as I’d love to see the batters’ heart rates in the final over when runs are needed.
Finally, we have all see the success of the pink day at the SCG so why not add a charity round?
I would love to hear further feedback or thoughts on how we can improve this great game.