New Zealand could field BBL team: Vettori | Big Bash League BBL
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New Zealand could field BBL team: Vettori

25 December 2015

Vettori is keen on a New Zealand BBL franchise // Getty Images

Cricket Australia not ruling out the possibility of trans-Tasman expansion

New Zealand legend Dan Vettori believes his home country could support a KFC Big Bash League team, while Cricket Australia has not ruled out the possibility of expansion across the ditch.

Vettori, who is coaching the Brisbane Heat in BBL|05, said the strong New Zealand interest in the current model could pave the way for the introduction of a Trans-Tasman team.

The Kiwis’ own Domestic Twenty20 competition, the Super Smash, runs from November to mid-December and Vettori said it would be possible for the two to co-exist.

"I think from a New Zealand perspective we’d love to (have a team)," Vettori told Crocmedia.

"It’s just I suppose working through the logistics of it.

"We have our own competition, obviously both countries have their own international competitions.

"I know it’d be popular, I know people sit down at 8.30pm, 9.30pm at night and watch the Big Bash and watch it all the way through.

"Certainly the numbers of people that know about the Big Bash and have a real affinity with it in New Zealand are huge."

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Due to daylight savings, matches played in Australia at 7.30pm AEDT begin at 9.30pm local time in New Zealand.

Big Bash League chief Mike McKenna said the heavy load on playing schedules meant no expansion would happen in the immediate future, but refused to rule it out entirely.

"We explored the New Zealand option and South Africa, we looked at a competition that was titled the 'Southern Premier League' which included clubs from all of those countries,” McKenna said.

"Just with the international schedule and the timing you can play cricket in those countries, the proof was we couldn’t do it.

"There remains the case with New Zealand. We’ll look at it again. We’re very keen to work with New Zealand cricket, they’re very strong at the moment."

A number of professional sporting codes in Australia include New Zealand teams. Australia shares the Super Rugby competition with South African and New Zealand teams, while the NBL, A-League, NRL and ANZ Championship include Kiwi teams.

McKenna said there were plans to expand the competition, which could lead to more franchises in Australia.

"We’re looking at our growth so whatever form that takes," he said.

"Whether it’s more games with the same teams or having more games with more teams, they’re all options for us.

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"There’s opportunities to play teams away from their normal home grounds in different venues.

"As we did with the warm up game with the Stars and Renegades in Geelong. There’s very strong desire from some areas like Geelong, Canberra, Gold Coast and far north Queensland to have teams.

"They’ll definitely be considered.

"That game down at Geelong proved to be very attractive. We’re very keen to continue play high quality cricket down there."

In BBL|05 all teams will play their home matches at their designated venues.

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