The Perth Scorchers have reasserted themselves as the Big Bash League's premier franchise, completing a spectacular season as nomads by claiming the BBL11 title…
Perth Scorchers hero Laurie Evans has urged Cricket Australia to cut the length of the BBL so the star power can return to the Twenty20 tournament.
The Englishman was the match winner on Friday night, hitting a blazing unbeaten 74 to pull the Scorchers out of trouble and to the franchise’s fourth BBL title.
Evans and captain Ashton Turner came together after Perth slumped to 4-25, with the pair immediately attacking the Sydney Sixers’ bowlers to completely change the momentum of the final at Marvel Stadium.
The 34-year-old was thrilled with the victory, and grateful for his opportunity with the Scorchers, but believed bold decisions needed to made ahead of the 12th edition of the tournament.
Interest levels in the BBL have waned further this season with COVID-19 infections having a massive impact as teams often had to call up players from club cricket just to field a team.
But the BBL, which once ran for 43 days and involved teams playing each other just once, now spans two months and is played across 14 rounds.
Evans also warned the mooted international player draft could discourage stars from coming down under.
“This tournament needs to attract the biggest players in the world, it probably needs to quicken up, get shorter, get some more crowds in again,” Evans said.
“It’s a great tournament, but if you want to attract the biggest players in the world, like every tournament wants to, you need to find a way to make it a bit shorter because guys obviously can’t come for the whole time.
“It helps people like me, who are just flying under the radar and not playing international career, so I’m grateful for the opportunity.
“I’ve got a two-year-old boy, missed his birthday, missed my wife’s birthday, it’s not nice, but the guys have just been outstanding.”
The Scorchers’ first title since 2016-17 was all the more impressive considering they have been away from Perth since December 8 due to Western Australia’s border closure.
Even after the celebrations subside in Melbourne, Perth-based players will be unable to return home until February 5. They will then be forced into 14 days of quarantine on arrival.
“I can’t say too much because I’ll get in trouble, but to think they (Perth-based players) can’t go home but I can fly to England is pretty ridiculous,” Evans said.
“The record we had coming into this game, it would have meant nothing if we didn’t get it done so to actually dominate and win the final in that fashion says a lot about the group.”