Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell (Image Credit: Twitter)

On Wednesday Cricket Australia announced the schedule for the 11th season of the Big Bash League (BBL). The tournament will run from December 5, with defending champions Sydney Sixers scheduled to host Melbourne Stars at the SCG, and will conclude on January 28.

The BBL 2021 has been shortened by four days – 55 from 59 – compared to last year to finish the tournament in the school holidays window which will see a boost in attendance. 12 double-headers, as well as triple-headers, will be played this season.

The competition will return to its original home-away format in 2021-22 after shifting to the cluster caravan format last season because of the pandemic situation.

Australia, Aaron Finch
Australia’s white-ball captain Aaron Finch will lead Melbourne Renegades in the BBL. (Credits: Twitter)

The tournament starts three days before the men’s home Ashes series commences and will finish a couple of days before the white-ball series begins against New Zealand. This means that barring the Test players to participate in the Ashes, the white-ball players will be available for the entire season.

CA officials also confirmed to AAP that at least the non-Test Australian players would be able to play in the final on January 28, before flying to Perth the next day for an ODI against New Zealand on January 30.

The likes of Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa, Dan Christian, Aaron Finch, and many others will now have an opportunity to play the entire season.

Since Australia would be hosting next year’s T20 World Cup, and given their current status as a T20I team – they have lost the first 3 games in West Indies – this scenario of having its players play more short-format matches would serve them well at the international stage.

BBL, Big Bash League
BBL 2020-21 Winners Sydney Sixers pose with the trophy. (Photo: Twitter)

BBL draft for overseas players postponed

Also, the proposed BBL draft for overseas players has been postponed for another year due to the ongoing uncertainties regarding the availability of foreign players. Initially pushed back from the 2020-21 season, it had been hoped to get the system up and running for this campaign but instead overseas players – up to three per team – will be signed in the traditional way.
“We really like the idea of an overseas player draft and it’s something that will be on the agenda again next year,” Alistair Dobson, the general manager of Big Bash Leagues, told ESPNcricinfo.
“But when we’ve considered the continuing challenges with overseas travel and the need to give players and clubs some certainty, we’ve made the call to postpone it for another year.”

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