The Roar
The Roar



BBL is not what it once was but there's still plenty to love

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Roar Rookie
2nd January, 2023

The Men’s Big Bash League always generates a passionate debate: the season is too long, it’s not as good as before etc. I do agree with these points of view, however, if we just lower our expectations a bit it’s still great fun to watch.

The BBL was at its best in the 2014-15 (BBL 04) and 2015-16 (BBL 05) seasons. We had marquee overseas players such as Jacques Kallis, Kevin Pietersen and Chris Gayle whilst homegrown talents such as Chris Lynn were smashing it out of the stadium. The big difference as well throughout the campaigns of BBL 04 and 05 was that there were only 35 games.

Fast forward to 2023 and BBL 12, and there are currently 61 games, which dilutes the competition. The BBL don’t look like reducing the number of games per season any time soon. The set-up of a longer season lends itself more to a TV audience rather than to live attendance.

An upside to this is that scheduling more games at rural grounds like they’ve already done with games in Cairns, Canberra, Albury and St Kilda provides an opportunity for supporters who don’t often get to see live sport, which is a good idea.

The downside to the long season is it takes more focus to stay engaged. Test cricket is suited to having it on in the background, to watch for a bit then do something else, whereas T20 cricket is meant to keep your focus throughout the whole competition. However, with the longer season you can just watch a couple of games here and there. The comparison of the current BBL season against the BBL 04 will favour the latter.

Nostalgia plays a factor in favouring the BBL 04 season. People were so keen on the earlier version they’ve dismissed this current one without giving it a chance.

The current BBL season has provided some great moments already. It started with a nail-biter between the Sydney Thunder and the Melbourne Stars. Sydney Thunder got bowled out for 15! When Brisbane Heat played Melbourne Renegades Michael Neser got a hat-trick and we were then treated to the Andre Russell show as he dispatched the ball to all parts of GMHBA Stadium.


In what’s been quite a low-scoring season so far, we had a shootout at the Gabba between the Brisbane Heat and Sydney Sixers. Josh Brown, in just his second game for Brisbane Heat, smacked an unbelievable 62 off 23 balls.

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The Sixers looked like they were a chance to chase down Brisbane’s score of 224. With an over and half to go, Neser took a remarkable catch juggling the ball outside the boundary to then take the catch inside the field of play.

When watching BBL 12, don’t straight away cast your mind back. Go in with an open mind, there are still plenty of fast bowlers, elusive spinners and great batters to watch in action. It’s looking like it will be an exciting and also quite a close season with Perth Scorchers once again showing they’re the benchmark.