The Big Bash League will be shortened to ten games per side this summer after Cricket Australia struck a deal with broadcasters to reduce the competition. Already 16 games short of 2024-25, officials have confirmed that the move from 56 regular-season games to 40 will be brought forward this summer.
The finals series will also be tweaked, from five teams qualifying to four, with a four-match finals system yet to be determined.
Often criticized for being too long, the lack of men’s matches takes the competition back to 2017–18, when it was at its peak.
While dates for this summer have yet to be set, the reduced competition should allow the play to be played in full within the Christmas school holidays. It will also ensure that marquee overseas players are available for a higher percentage of matches, as well as giving Australia’s white-ball stars more chances to play all games.
CA first indicated its desire to shorten the competition during broadcast talks last summer, with changes being made for 2024-25.
Both Foxtel and Seven were soon set to make changes, but several deals with club sponsors and venue arrangements had to be made to change. However, the general feeling among most stakeholders was that a shorter season would lead to better competition with increased ratings and exposure to each match.
BBL general manager Alistair Dobson said, “A smaller BBL will allow us more flexibility to ensure we can deliver the best possible fixture for clubs and fans.” ,[We can do that] While providing a platform that allows players to continue to produce the world-class level of cricket seen over the duration of the tournament.”
However, there will be no change in WBBL as of now. While a shorter tournament remains a possibility in the future to attract overseas talent, domestic players prefer a 14-game regular season, seeing it as the pinnacle of their summer.
CA is toying with the notion of raising salaries to $110,000 for the best overseas talent for the season in an attempt to draw them into the competition.
“It is vital that we ensure the tournament remains at the forefront of T20 leagues as the global women’s game continues to grow rapidly,” Dobson said. “As a league, we are always reviewing and looking at ways we can grow, adapt and innovate, and as part of this we will continue to consider the structure of the WBBL season.”
The BBL will allow clubs to start re-signing off-contract players from next week, before giving the go-ahead to rivals from May 22.
Officials also confirmed that clubs would be able to choose the trading draft order for the first time as part of player-trade deals.