The Big Bash League in Australia

How much do you know about the Big Bash League in Australia? Well, you will learn the most important facts about this cricket game, which is one of the most fascinating and exciting cricket leagues in the world – the main reason behind the massive followership it enjoys from all over the land of Australia.

The Big bash League Australia, more officially called the KFC T20 Big Bash League, is the domestic cricket league in Australia, and emerging as one of the biggest sporting leagues in the country. The tournament was formerly known as the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash, and it now features city-based franchises instead of the state teams, which had participated in the previous versions of the tournament. At the end of the tournament, the best two teams proceed to the Champions League T20 tournament.

The previous version of the tournament started in the year 2005 and was won by Victoria, the same team that won the next two seasons. The first season of this new version, the Big Bash League, was flagged off in December 2011 and was won by the Sydney Sixers, who defeated the Perth Scorchers right on their home ground, before their fans.

Teams

As stated earlier, the current version of the Big Bash League in Australia features a very keen contest for supremacy among eight privately owned, city-based franchises. This is quite different from the previous version, the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash, which featured just six, state-based teams. A team represents the capital city of each state, except for Sydney and Melbourne, both of which are represented by two teams each. All eight teams had their team's names and colors officially announced on April 6, 2011. Here is a list of the teams:

1. Adelaide Strikers (Adelaide, South Australia)
2. Brisbane Heat (Brisbane, Queensland)
3. Hobart Hurricanes (Hobart, Tasmania)
4. Melbourne Renegades (Melbourne, Victoria)
5. Melbourne Stars (Melbourne, Victoria)
6. Perth Scorchers (Perth, Western Australia)
7. Sydney Sixers (Sydney, New South Wales)
8. Sydney Thunder (Sydney, New South Wales)

Venues

Each team featuring in the Big Bash League has its own home venue. The venues are listed below:

The Adelaide Oval, Adelaide (Adelaide Strikers)
The GABBA, Brisbane (Brisbane Heat)
The Blundstone Arena, Hobart (Hobart Hurricanes)
The Etihad Stadium, Melbourne (Melbourne Renegades)
The MCG, Melbourne (Melbourne Stars)
The WACA Ground, Perth (Perth Scorchers)
The SCG, Sydney (Sydney Sixers)
The ANZ Stadium, Sydney (Sydney Thunders)

Of these venues, the MCG, Melbourne has the largest spectator capacity (100,000) while the WACA ground has the least (26,000). In addition, the MCG, established in 1853 is the oldest of all the eight venues while the Etihad Stadium, which was established in the 2000, is the newest.

How is the season run?

If you have ever wanted to have more details of how the Big Bash League Australia season is run, then you are lucky to have found this page, as you will get a clear but concise explanation.

During the course of the season, each of the featuring teams will play against each other once. When the regular season ends, the best four teams, out of the total eight, will play each other in a final play-off series. These teams are ranked in terms of accrued points. For a win, each team gets two points, and for a draw or tie, a team gets just one point. A loss attracts no points. If, at the end of the regular season, two teams have the same number of points, then the better of the two will be decided by the net run rate.

Are you wondering what the net run rate is? No problems, you will get things clear. A team's run rate is calculated by dividing the team's number of runs by the number of overs. For example, if, in one of their matches, the Sydney Sixers score eight runs after two overs, their run rate for that match is three. That is, six divided by two. To get a team's net run rate, the difference is calculated, between its run rate and that of the opposing team. If for instance Sydney Sixers records the run rate stated above in a match they played against Melbourne Stars, who, in their own case, had a run rate of two, then the net run rate is 3-2. At the end of the match, a net run rate of +1 is recorded for Sydney Sixers, while a -1 net run rate is recorded for Melbourne Stars. This way after each match played, on the standings table, the net run rates accrued after every match played are added together, and this is what decides the better of two teams, in the event of a tie on points.

After the regular league season, the best for teams play each other in a playoff this way:

The first-place team plays against the fourth placed team in the first semi-final match; while the second and third placed teams play the second semi final. The winners in both encounters play each other in the final. Of the two teams to play in the finals, the team that finished higher in the regular league standings hosts the final match. That is, the final match will be played at the team's home ground.

As expected, after the final match, the winner is presented the trophy. The current trophy was officially revealed on December 13 2011. The next season is scheduled to start in August 2012, and it is being anticipated that more teams, and more matches, will be accommodated in the league. Teams proposed to join the league next season include those from Newcastle, Canberra, Geelong and Gold Coast. However, only two of these teams will be included in the next league, while others will be included in subsequent editions of the Big Bash League Australia.

The Big Bash League - Following in the footsteps of the IPL

Following the footstep of the hugely popular India Premiere League, cricket Australia has recently launched the Big Bash League twenty20. Cricket in Australia is losing its popularity with time, and the cricket board realized that it had to do something quickly to stop a tragedy from occurring. Therefore, capitalizing on the already popular KFC Big Bash, Cricket Australia has come up with this brand new format that promises more glamour, more speed and ultimately a better product than the older version. The cricket board has evidently followed the example the multi million dollar IPL that began in 2007 to start an attempt in recapturing young Australian hearts and ensure that their interest does not fade away from the game. This time, the teams will have some cool names and graphic designs ala the teams of IPL.

Big Bash LeagueInitially, there were a lot of issues with the new format regarding the number of foreign player to be allowed in a team, the budget assigned to each team, the number of teams to compete among others. But the problems have been sorted out as the committee knows that this formula is probably going to work and it would be a wise decision to come up with something peppy as soon as possible to cash on the current liking that people have developed for the shorter version of the game. Speed, aggression, money, and glamour- the format promises all these and more, and we have seen how cool things can get in the Indian edition of Twenty20 cricket. But that being said, Big Bash Twenty20 will certainly not try to compete with the IPL both in terms of popularity and money. Australia is in fact a rather small business center when it comes to cricket, and if the new idea works and comes even a little closer to the IPL, the result would be considered to be magnificent.

As per plans there will be eight teams competing for the top spot, and the ownership strategies and systems are also based on the IPL model. Many big business people and big companies have already shown interest in buying teams in the Big Bash Twenty20. But here, the investors will only be given the right to own 33 percent of the total stake and the remaining part will be owned by the CA, and will also be controlled by them. The franchises will be of a whopping value of about $3 million, and will be owned by huge business people and other well known personalities for a period of 10 years. The auction of the players is also like that of the IPL. Though the tournament has implemented a lot of tactics from the IPL, there have also been some unique concepts. But the IPL has contributed to the innovations indirectly. Everyone knows about the current controversy regarding the IPL boss Lalit Modi, and the corruption charges that he faced. So, the CA has taken several instances from the IPL and has sorted out strategies that can ensure that similar mishaps do not happen in the Big Bash tournament. A reference point is always helpful, and it hopefully will eliminate any corruption or other unfavorable issues.

Big Bash LeagueThe IPL has been immensely successful for reasons more than one. Firstly, the cricket lovers were bored after seeing years of monotonous test matches and one day internationals. Purists will argue, but there is always a need to come up with new things every now and then to keep the interest of the audience intact, because, after all, cricket is a form of entertainment. The IPL has successfully blended the grammar and art involved in the game with lip smacking garnish with the help of celebrity owners like Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan owning Kolkata Knight Riders, cheerleaders, music, grand opening and closing ceremonies after and before each match, and other attractions. Cricket has no more remained just cricket due to the concept- it has taken the form of a total entertaining package which promises to entertain people in everyway possible. Also, people who are non cricket enthusiasts have also developed an interest in the game, perhaps due to the presence of the presence of their favorite movie star on the field.

Another reason for the success of the format might be the speed of the game. Who has the time these days to waste 6 hours daily for five days to come to come to know about the winner of a match? Instead, just like football, the cricket lovers were in a need of a game that can give them the aggression of football and entertain them non- stop for 3 hours, and give them a result. And this is the reason the IPL was a grand success and earned millions of dollars despite the huge cost of the tickets. The success of the tournament has also prompted the different companies to place advertisement during the matches, and in fact, an advertising gains the most viewer ship during a cricket match that any other television programs in India. Selling advertising also adds to the income numbers of the television channels as well as the cricket board. People also get to see cricketing masters from all cricketing nations on the same field at the same time in this format of the game, which is like a dream come true for many cricket crazy people. Previously we used to come across lists of so called ‘dream teams’ that featured cricketers from different players from different countries in the same team. But with the IPL, these kinds of teams became a reality. Who would not like to see arch rivals like India and Pakistan play against each other? But seeing a deadly bowler like Shoaib Akhtar and Sachin Tendulkar play together in the same team and against the same opponent would probably be a more interesting extravaganza. All this reasons prompted the Australian board to go ahead with the idea of Big Bash Twenty20. People have really become enthusiastic about cricket matches of short duration, and this is probably the best time to go come up with a tournament that promises to be an equally bombastic entertainer.