A bigger comp than last year
THERE won’t be any new teams but the Big Bash League season will get bigger and longer this summer.
Cricket Australia yesterday announced the schedules for both the BBL and WBBL.
Next year’s double- header grand final will be held on February 4, a week later than what it was this year. The regular BBL season starts with a Sydney derby at Spotless Stadium on December 19.
The BBL season will feature an additional eight matches compared to last summer.
Launceston has been locked in to host its first BBL clash on December 30. Venues for games on January 3, 13 and 24 are yet to be confirmed but it’s expected they will be held in Geelong, Alice Springs and Canberra respectively.
Australia’s eight Twenty20 franchises have been unable to sign players because of the ongoing pay dispute. They are among stakeholders hoping a resolution is imminent.
“We know the MOU ( memorandum of understanding) is still being finalised, but we are confident this won’t affect the upcoming BBL and WBBL season,” league boss Anthony Everard said in a statement.
“And we’re looking forward to welcoming a huge number of travelling fans who are coming out for the Ashes. This will help them plan.”
The later finish to the BBL season means all three finals will be held after the Australian Open, something that will no doubt excite both CA and Network Ten. There could be a knock- on effect regarding Sheffield Shield dates, which are yet to be announced.
The most recent Shield season resumed on February 1, something that won’t be possible in 2018.
Perth Scorchers’ title defence begins with a final rematch against Sydney Sixers on December 23, while Melbourne’s two clubs have derbies on January 6 and January 12.
The WBBL action starts with three games on December 9, including a double- header at North Sydney Oval.