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Big Bash League 2019-20 is about to get underway and there have been some changes made to the season. Based on feedback that the management got from the players, the duration of BBL 2019-20 has been reduced. It is now going to be almost two weeks shorter than last season with 56 matches to be played in 42 days.
That means a lot more double-headers and non-stop action.
BBL 09 has also revamped the finals criteria with the top-5 teams now a part of the finals lineup. It will feature an Eliminator (4th vs 5th), a Qualifier (1st vs 2nd), a Knock-out (3rd vs Winner of Eliminator), and a Challenger (Loser of Qualifier vs Winner of the Knock-out) before the Final ( Winner of Qualifier vs Winner of Challenger).
The BBL 09 team squads have been announced and there are some interesting changes that have been made. We will take a look at each BBL 09 team in detail and search for potential winners.
BBL 08 Result: 7th (6 wins from 14 matches)
Travis Head (c), Wes Agar, Alex Carey (wk), Harry Conway, Rashid Khan (Afghanistan), Jake Lehmann, Michael Neser, Harry Nielsen, Liam O’Connor, Phil Salt (England), Matt Short, Peter Siddle, Billy Stanlake, Cameron Valente, Jake Weatherald, Jon Wells, Cameron White, Nick Winter
The Adelaide Strikers did not make too many changes to their squad in the off-season, although they have made two important ones. Ben Laughlin, the leading wicket-taker in BBL history has been released from his playing contract and is now going to play for Brisbane Heat. The Strikers also did not renew the services of Colin Ingram for this season.
In their places, the Strikers welcome Cameron White and Phil Salt (who has also played under Jason Gillespie at Sussex). Rashid Khan will come back for his third season with the Adelaide Strikers and that is going to be a huge plus for them.
The bowling department is in good shape with Rashid Khan, Billy Stanlake, Peter Siddle, Michael Neser, and Wes Agar in the squad. The team also has a decent depth in batting when all their players are available. Alex Carey and Jake Weatherald will lead the batting department and have support from Cameron White as well, adding a lot of experience to the squad.
Travis Head is going to be missing a large part of BBL 09 because of his test duties. The power-hitting department seems a bit underwhelming and the team could struggle on good batting surfaces where big totals need to be scored or chased down. This is almost the exact same squad that ended up finishing 7th in last year’s competition.
BBL 08 Result: 5th ( 6 wins in 14 matches, 1 No-result)
Chris Lynn (c), Tom Banton (England), Max Bryant, Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, AB de Villiers (South Africa), Sam Heazlett, Zahir Khan (Afghanistan – international replacement), Marnus Labuschagne, Josh Lalor, Ben Laughlin, James Pattinson, Jimmy Peirson, Jack Prestwidge, Matt Renshaw, Mark Steketee, Mitch Swepson, Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Afghanistan)
The biggest news here is, of course, the signing of AB de Villiers, one of the greatest T20 players of all-time. He is not going to be available for the first few matches and is only likely to join the side in 2020. Brisbane Heat has Tom Banton, another very exciting batsman, in their squad before AB de Villiers arrives.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman is going to be back for another stint with Brisbane Heat and will be replaced by fellow Afghan, Zahir Khan, later in BBL 09.
The power in the batting of Brisbane Heat is an obvious strength. Chris Lynn nearly scored three centuries in T10 cricket just a few weeks ago and is in very good form. He is going to be joined by Max Bryant, Tom Banton, Joe Burns, Matt Renshaw, Jimmy Pierson, and Ben Cutting in what is arguably the most powerful batting lineup of BBL 09.
All of this before AB de Villiers join the side for the last eight matches of the season.
The pace-bowling department also very well covered with James Pattinson, Ben Laughlin, Mark Steketee, and Cameron Gannon in the lineup.
The spin bowling department seems a little vulnerable with Mitchell Swepson, Mujeeb ur Rahman and then later Zahir Khan to choose from. A lot of the players are form players that can get in a rut if Brisbane Heat does not get off to a good start.
BBL 08 Result: 1st in Group Stage (10 wins out of 14 matches), Lost in Semi-Final
Matthew Wade (c), Qais Ahmad (Afghanistan), Jofra Archer (England), George Bailey, Scott Boland, Jake Doran, Nathan Ellis, James Faulkner, Jarrod Freeman, Caleb Jewell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Simon Milenko, David Miller (South Africa – international replacement), David Moody, Tom Rogers, Clive Rose, D’Arcy Short, Aaron Summers
The Hobart Hurricanes were desperately unlucky last season as they played some brilliant cricket throughout the regular season and then lost in the semi-final to the Melbourne Stars. The change in the format of the finals will prevent such a thing from happening to this year’s top-2 teams (who are both guaranteed a second chance) but that is little solace for the Hurricanes.
They are going to be without Jofra Archer and Johan Botha in their squad. The English international is going to be busy with his international commitments and will be sorely missed at Hobart.
David Miller will join the squad and add a lot of power to the batting, something that the Hurricanes will be glad to have now that Matthew Wade is also going to be busy with his Australian test commitments.
A strong batting side led by Darcy Short, Ben McDermott, David Miller, and George Bailey. Qais Ahmed is a very good pick for an overseas player and could be one of the wild-cards of BBL 09. The pressure is going to be on Darcy Short and Ben McDermott to have another blockbuster year and push for places in the T20 World Cup side just a few months away.
Young pacemen Aaron Summers, David Moody, and Nathan Ellis are going to add a lot of fire to the side while James Faulkner will provide the experience in the attack.
Some key players are getting towards the end of their careers and their performances might drop off like possibly with George Bailey and James Faulkner. The fast bowlers are rapid but can be quite expensive as well. There is also a lot of dependence on the form of Darcy Short and the batting depth could come under pressure if he does not score too many runs this season.
BBL 08 Result: 2nd in the group stage (8 wins from 14 matches), Winners
Aaron Finch (c), Cameron Boyce, Dan Christian, Tom Cooper, Zak Evans, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Harry Gurney (England), Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Jon Holland, Shaun Marsh, Joe Mennie, Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan), Kane Richardson, Will Sutherland, Beau Webster, Jack Wildermuth
The bulk of the Melbourne Renegades squad is exactly the same as last season, which is unsurprising considering the team won its first-ever Big Bash title last season. As the defending champions, the Melbourne Renegades are going to be under some pressure to keep the success going.
The Renegades are going to be without Cameron White for this season but have managed to pull quite a coup with the signing of Shaun Marsh. The eldest Marsh brother has been signed for the next three seasons implying the faith that the Renegades management has in him.
Shaun Marsh is a BBL legend and is also going to be available for most of the season now that he has lost his place in the Australian test squad.
Pakistani all-rounder, Faheem Ashraf has been added to the side as well, a move that we don’t really like too much. Ashraf is an all-rounder but he cannot hold his place with either discipline. The only reason behind this move could be Ashraf’s ability to bowl in the death overs.
Aaron Finch is going to be available for a lot more of the BBL this time since he has been dropped from the Test squad, which is a big positive for the Melbourne Renegades. The batting looks quite strong with Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh, Tom Cooper, Marcus Harris, Sam Harper, Mackenzie Harvey and Mohammad Nabi in the side.
Kane Richardson has been exceptional in the Big Bash in recent seasons and will lead the bowling attack once more.
The squad is well-settled and most players know their roles which is a good place to start from.
The bowling attack looks a bit wobbly apart from Kane Richardson. The all-round duo of Dan Christian and Faheem Ashraf is also not the strongest and could be exposed against quality opposition.
BBL 08 Result: 4th in the group stage, Losing finalists
Glenn Maxwell (c), Pat Brown (England – international replacement), Hilton Cartwright, Jackson Coleman, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Ben Dunk, Seb Gotch, Peter Handscomb, Clint Hinchliffe, Sandeep Lamichhane (Nepal), Nick Larkin, Nic Maddinson, Jonathan Merlo, Lance Morris, Tom O’Connell, Dale Steyn (South Africa), Marcus Stoinis, Daniel Worrall, Adam Zampa
The Melbourne Stars lost in the BBL 08 final through a dramatic collapse after dominating a large part of the match. It was a heartbreaking loss for a team that had made some important changes in the previous season and saw them pay-off.
More important changes herald the start this season as Dale Steyn joins the Melbourne Stars for the first few matches of BBL 09 and Pat Brown filling in after he departs. Dale Steyn is also at the end of his career but is quite keen to make it to the T20 World Cup. That motivation is going to provide him plenty of incentive to perform on one of the biggest stages in T20 cricket.
Pat Brown has been the highest wicket-taker in the Vitality T20 Blast for two successive seasons and has also been fast-tracked into the English team. He could have an important role to play as the BBL 09 season rolls to a finish.
Managing to poach Hilton Cartwright and Nathan Coulter-Nile from the Perth Scorchers is also a huge score for the Melbourne Stars. Both these Aussie stars will add all-round depth in the Stars side.
Glenn Maxwell has returned from his break from cricket following mental health issues and is going to be leading the Melbourne Stars once again this season.
A strong core of Australian players led by Glenn Maxwell, Peter Handscomb, Nic Maddinson, Ben Dunk, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Marcus Stoinis, and Adam Zampa makes the Melbourne Stars a serious contender. None of these players are expected to miss games for international games either (apart from Adam Zamps), although the selection panel could throw up some surprises.
Sandeep Lamichhane returns to the side as an overseas player after impressing in his debut year with the Stars.
There are not too many, to be honest, and the only area where we see a lack of depth is the all-round department.
BBL 08 Result: 8th (4 wins from 14 matches)
Mitchell Marsh (c), Ashton Agar, Fawad Ahmed, Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Cameron Green, Aaron Hardie, Nick Hobson, Josh Inglis, Matthew Kelly, Liam Livingstone, Joel Paris, Kurtis Patterson, Jhye Richardson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Sam Whiteman
For a long time, the Perth Scorchers were regarded as the best domestic T20 team in the world. They are the most successful side in BBL history but last season was a turning point for the team. The Perth Scorchers finished last and have since undergone some major changes.
The core of their team has changed as Shaun Marsh, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile have left for other franchises and Michael Klinger has retired. That may not be such a bad thing for the Perth Scorchers, though, as it gives them an opportunity to try out some new things.
Fawad Ahmed and Kurtis Patterson have joined the Perth Scorchers, both good signings. Fawad Ahmed has emerged as one of the best spinners in T20 cricket and will provide a wrist-spin option that the Scorchers have lacked for a long time.
Liam Livingstone is also a very good acquisition. He can play the power-hitting game and contribute with the ball on a regular basis. With Chris Jordan to help in the death bowling, the Perth Scorchers have a good look about them ahead of BBL 09.
A strong core of Australian players like Mitchell Marsh, Cameron Bancroft, Fawad Ahmed, Ashton Turner, Ashton Agar, and Jhye Richardson. The Perth Scorchers have had one bad season and will learn from the mistakes they made. It is not wise to write them off and we see them being contenders for the title once more.
A lot of new faces, a new captain, and a new coach are all going to take some time to get accustomed to things. This change can be difficult for the team sometimes and it can take a bit of time to find the right balance. Andrew Tye and Jason Behrendorff are likely to miss a large part of the season because of injuries.
Mitchell Marsh is also likely to receive Australia national call-ups during the cricket summer.
BBL 08 Result: 3rd in the group stage (8 wins from 14 matches), Losing semi-finalists
Moises Henriques (c), Sean Abbott, Justin Avendano, Tom Curran (England), Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Mickey Edwards, Daniel Fallins, Josh Hazlewood, Daniel Hughes, Nathan Lyon, Stephen O’Keefe, Josh Philippe, Lloyd Pope, Jordan Silk, Steve Smith, Henry Thornton, James Vince (England)
The Sydney Sixers had an excellent season last time around and seemed destined to make it to the grand final but fell just short. This season is going to be a bit of a challenge for them since three of their best players are not going to be available till the final two group matches of the season. Steve Smith, Josh Hazelwood, and Nathan Lyon are all going to be busy with the national team commitments and so the other players have to step up.
The addition of Jackson Bird to the side is a decent one but nothing that is going to change the nature of the Sydney Sixers.
There is a fair bit of continuity in the Sydney Sixers side as most of the squad remains the same. Tom Curran and James Vince had an excellent season with the Sixers and are back again for BBL 09. Both of them have been in good form over at the Mzansi Super League so the Sydney Sixers can hope for some more good contributions from them.
Jack Edwards, Jordan Silk, Daniel Hughes, Josh Philippe, and Moises Henriques form a strong batting lineup filled with up and coming youngsters. Youth is once again the theme in the bowling department as Lloyd Pope, Henry Thornton, and Mickey Edwards can expect to play a major role in BBL 09 alongside Sean Abbott.
Player availability is going to be an issue but the team will not that starting out. Inexperience in its lineup is going to be another one that the Sydney Sixers have to find a way to get around. The batting looks good but the bowling is a bit underwhelming at the moment, especially the spin-bowling.
BBL 08 Result: 6th (6 wins from 14 matches)
Callum Ferguson (c), Jonathan Cook, Oliver Davies, Matthew Gilkes, Chris Green, Alex Hales (England), Usman Khawaja, Jay Lenton, Nathan McAndrew, Chris Morris (South Africa), Arjun Nair, Alex Ross, Daniel Sams, Gurinder Sandhu, Jason Sangha, Chris Tremain
Sydney Thunder looked like a tired outfit that was hanging on by a thread last season. In BBL 09, Sydney Thunder is going to look like a completely new side as some of its former best players are going to be missing. Shane Watson, Jos Buttler, and Fawad Ahmed have all made very valuable contributions to the Sydney Thunder side throughout their Big Bash careers.
Without them, the very essence of Sydney Thunder is going to change.
Callum Ferguson is going to be leading the side, which is an interesting decision since Ferguson is not the most natural of T20 players himself. The addition of Alex Hales and Chris Morris to the side are good ones. Hales is a good fit for this format and on Australian pitches while Chris Morris will contribute to all aspects of the game as well.
Alex Ross has also joined the side from Brisbane Heat where he was not getting the opportunities he desired. We don’t rate Alex Ross too highly although he can be destructive on some occasions.
Usman Khawaja seems to have been fallen back in the Australian test match batting ranks and could be available for the Sydney Thunder this season.
The bowling department is well-stocked with Daniel Sams, Chris Tremain, Chris Morris, and Arjun Nair in the side. This is not a bowling attack that is going to give any of the other teams sleepless nights but it can be expected to perform reliably.
Alex Hales provides a very dangerous power-hitting option at the top of the order.
Sydney Thunder appears to be lacking the needed depth and talent in the batting department to make it competitive. Alex Hales alone is going to struggle to lift the side and we don’t see too many other good options in the squad.
The core Australian group is made of cricketers that are decidedly second-rung in their current states.
Here we will take a closer look at the teams in the league, read about the history of the BBL.
The tournament is played on a 20 over basis and most matches are scheduled to take place in the evening under lights. The events are being highly promoted in the media in order to boost stadium attendance as well as TPR ratings.
Each team will end up playing all the other teams in the tournament and a point system will determine the semi-finalists. After a playoff, the grand finale will take place and the eventual winner will be determined. There are no provisions for a drawn match as if the scores are tied, a super over will take place to determine the eventual winner.
This year, Network Ten is the official broadcast partner of the Big Bash League and will cover all 35 matches of the series. Network Ten has hired some of the best cricket commentators in Australia and will feature the likes of Mark Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Damien Fleming.
The premier T20 domestic tournament in the world is without a doubt the Indian Premier League (IPL). A number of countries have started their own T20 leagues after seeing the success of the IPL. Australia has been one of these countries who initially decided to launch their own league during the 2011-2012 season. The first season proved to be extremely successful for cricket in Australia as they managed to bring Australian cricketing legend Shane Warne out of T20 retirement. He along with a number of other famous Aussie cricketers played in the initial edition of the Big Bash League and it proved to be a grand success.
There is a lot of prize money up for grabs and this is one of the main reasons why the competition is able to draw players from across the world. Some of the top international players in world cricket such as Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Shahid Afridi and Johan Botha feature regularly in the league.
The Big Bash League receives a lot of publicity and media coverage and is also an ideal stage for young Aussie players to make a name for themselves and put their hands up for selection. This has proved to be the case for cricketers like Aaron Finch, Moises Henriques and Nathan-Coulter Nile who have put in impressive performances for their teams and have quickly made their way to the international arena.
Another reason why the sudden rise in popularity is because the top two teams are automatically selected to feature in the Champions League Twenty 20 tournament which takes place every year. This tournament selects 4 teams from the IPL and 2 teams from various other leagues such as the Big Bash League and Carribean Premier League. The Champions League Twenty 20 tournament is another cash rich tournament which gives players a shot at making even bigger sums of money in the same calendar year.
The tournament when it started was known as the KFC Twenty 20 Big Bash because it’s main sponsor was Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). However, the tournament is generally referred to the Big Bash League in most cricketing circles.
The initial tournament featured state teams who played against each other on a point based system. The tournament has now changed to city-based franchises so that their maybe more than one team from a particular state. The format however remains the same.
Since this tournament is supported by Cricket Australia, these matches are played at all the top cricket venues in Australia. Some of the grounds that host these matches include the MCG, SCG, WACA, Adelaide Oval and the Etihad Stadium in Victoria.
The 2011-2012 tournament was won by the Sydney Sixers after they defeated the Perth Scorchers at the WACA ground. The 2012-2013 tournament also featured the Perth Scorchers in the final but once again they could not pass the final hurdle as they went down to the Brisbane Heat.
There will be a number of websites updating the cricket section on a regular basis as the tournament gets underway. Given that this is one of the premiere domestic cricket tournaments, most any online sportsbook will offer odds on the events and games. For now though, you will have to settle with the futures bets, but when it gets closer to the start of the series, you will find more betting options available.
As always, we recommend checking out www.Bet365.com if you would like to bet on any of the big cricket events, and the Big Bash League is no exception.