4 PLAY­ERS TO WATCH

ABC Cricket - - BBL -

As the Big Bash League hits its eighth in­stal­ment, the do­mes­tic T20 comp has be­come a launch pad for a new kind of cricket star. Here’s a quar­tet primed for the big time.

Abig­ger Bash awaits this do­mes­tic T20 sea­son, as the league ex­pands from 43 to 59 matches in to­tal. Ev­ery team will play each other twice in a true home-and-away fix­ture, an­other first for the com­pe­ti­tion, which means 14 matches for each team be­fore the top four meet in the fi­nals.

It will stretch the BBL sea­son deeper into Fe­bru­ary than be­fore. The teams will also be trav­el­ling fur­ther afield, to matches on the Gold Coast, to Gee­long and to Moe. The in­creased num­ber of games will see some sched­ule crunch – there will a triple-header on Jan­uary 13, as well as Stars-Heat on Jan­uary 27 that will run op­po­site the Aus­tralia-Sri Lanka day-night Test at the Gabba, and the men’s fi­nal of the Aus­tralian Open ten­nis.

It’s am­bi­tious, but also a sign of a league con­fi­dent in it­self. Big Bash has be­come an es­tab­lished part of the sum­mer sport­ing land­scape, of­fer­ing up com­pelling cricket – and crick­eters.

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