BBL set for more games, new venues

27 January 2017

Each club to play two extra games in BBL|07 with "new venues" to be finalised

The KFC Big Bash League will be expanded next season, with an extra eight matches to be added to the competition for BBL|07 and the possibility of games being played at new venues.

Next summer’s BBL will see a total of 40 regular season matches played, up from 32 this season.

It means clubs will each play 10 matches next summer, with teams to play five home games and five away games (up from four and four).  

Head of the BBL Anthony Everard said while the league hadn’t yet finalised where the additional matches will be played, he suggested the league is looking at expanding into "non-traditional markets".

"We’re always looking at opportunities to grow the game and expand our fan base beyond traditional markets and demographics," Everard said in a Cricket Australia statement.

"The scheduling of the additional eight matches in a manner that complements the existing regular season fixture is aimed at encouraging more people to pick up a bat and ball and give cricket a go. 

"We haven’t yet finalised the locations of these additional matches yet, but we are working closely with clubs to explore options. 

"A state-by-state approach will be taken to determine the most appropriate location to host this additional fixture, taking into account aspects including existing contractual obligations, participation and fan growth opportunities, and venue infrastructure.

"The opportunity to expand matches into non-traditional markets is not just limited to the men’s game. We are working to see how we can also schedule Women’s Big Bash League matches in these new venues, once they are finalised."

The eight BBL clubs have played eight games each since the second edition of the tournament in 2012-13, while teams in BBL|01 played each other once for a total of seven matches apiece.

Everard added there no immediate plans to add to the eight teams but hasn’t ruled out additional sides in the future.  

"At present, there are no plans to increase the number of teams in the League in the immediate future, but we remain open minded about future expansion plans," he said.

The expansion will mean that more than 100 BBL and Rebel Women’s Big Bash League matches will be played next season.