Cricket Australia confirmed changes to the upcoming season of the Big Bash League, with the matches set to be reduced from 61 games to 44. The move comes into the picture as a part of a key feature in an extended seven-year broadcast deal with the Foxtel Group and Seven West Media.
The teams will compete in 40 league games in a home-and-away format, but the Board is yet to confirm on the finals structure. While the Men's League is set to undergo a major revamp, the Women's Big Bash League is set to remain at 59 games with 56 league matches and three knockout games.
“In conjunction with our Clubs and broadcast partners, we’re pleased to confirm the length of the upcoming Weber WBBL and KFC BBL seasons and look forward to announcing the full schedules in the near future."
“A shortened BBL will allow us greater flexibility to ensure we can deliver the best possible fixture for clubs and fans, while providing a platform that allows players to continue to produce the world-class levels of cricket we’ve seen over the duration of the tournament," said the General Manager of Big Bash League, Alistair Dobson in a press release.
“Whilst no changes have been made to the WBBL schedule, it’s vital that we make sure the tournament continues to be at the forefront of T20 Leagues as the global women’s game continues to evolve at a rapid rate.
“As a League, we’re always reviewing and looking at ways we can evolve, adapt and innovate, and as part of that, we’ll continue to consider the structure of the WBBL season."
“We’re looking forward to seeing what impact the introduction of retention windows and the ability for clubs to trade draft picks has, in conjunction with the existing Trade Period. Clubs’ draft picks will again be confirmed via lottery ahead of the draft, no doubt creating plenty of excitement as Clubs finalise their lists ahead of the season," he further added.
The League will also witness a week-long retention window for the first time which will commence on May 15, where clubs will be able to re-sign up to 12 BBL and 10 WBBL players from their previous season’s primary lists, excluding overseas and local replacement players.