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

For the next season, the BBL and WBBL will finally have a Decision Review System in place, while the Bash Boost point and X-Factor have been eliminated and the Power Surge is expected to debut in the WBBL. 

On Thursday, Cricket Australia announced a number of modifications to the BBL and WBBL competitions, including the addition of an innings clock for the BBL alone. The teams will have 79 minutes to bowl their 20 overs, minus some time for breaks, or else they will be penalised with the use of only four fielders outside the circle for the rest of the innings. 

In order to align the BBL with the main T20 leagues across the world, DRS has long been a goal of the league. But the Covid-19 outbreak derailed an attempt to implement it last season, preventing the essential ball-tracking technology from being installed at the different locations around Australia due to ongoing state border restrictions and schedule adjustments. 

BBL 2021-22 Final
BBL 2021-22 Final, Image Source: Twitter

DRS To Be Used In All BBL But Only Selected WBBL Games

The teams will have one failed review every inning and 15 seconds to examine any decision under DRS guidelines. Reviews will be kept on file for the “Umpire’s call” judgement. 

This season, DRS will be used in every BBL game, but only in 24 of the 59 WBBL games due to the broadcast situation. The host broadcaster Channel Seven will only produce 24 WBBL games; the remaining games will be streamed online and simultaneously televised on Foxtel.

The required technology won’t be accessible for the live streams, thus DRS won’t be used during the games. In a statement, CA stated that “the league will continue to strive towards better DRS coverage for future WBBL seasons” in the hopes that the subsequent broadcast agreement, which is most likely to go into effect in 2024–2025, will ensure that all WBBL games are aired and equipped with DRS. 

WBBL
WBBL. (Photo: Cricket Australia)

The regular six-over powerplay will be shortened to four overs with the addition of a two-over surge in the WBBL for the first time in the history of the game. With just two fielders outside the circle for those two overs, the batting team will call the surge in the remaining ten overs of the inning.

Despite not being a part of international cricket, the surge has been a well-received addition to the BBL in recent seasons, and CA has opted to include the innovation in the WBBL as well. 

After considering comments from teams and fans, CA has chosen to eliminate both the Bash Boost and the X-Factor because they weren’t as well-liked innovations. 

The tournament points will once again be two for a victory, one for a draw or no result, and zero for a defeat. Teams will now choose a conventional playing XI, with only replacement fielders and concussion substitutes available as usual. 

BBL GM Alistair Dobson Delighted With The New Technology

Alistair Dobson, the general manager of the Big Bash League, expressed his delight at the opportunity to finally add DRS to the BBL and WBBL. 

“The league is delighted to introduce DRS to every BBL game and the 24 simulcast Weber WBBL games, in line with the very best cricket competitions in the world,” Dobson said.

Alistair Dobson (Image Credits: Getty Images)
Alistair Dobson (Image Credits: Getty Images)

“Implementing DRS has been a challenging task for the BBL, which is the most logistically complex T20 league in the world. That, plus the impact of the pandemic on travel and movement, has meant the technology has not been possible to introduce until this season. 

“Additionally, the league is pleased with the outcomes of the wider Playing Conditions review process, with the introduction of the Power Surge to WBBL and the BBL innings clock both major wins for fans. 

“We retain a clear desire to innovate and drive our leagues forward but are also willing to review decisions that have not realised the intended positive impact, such as the Bash Boost point and X-Factor substitution.” 

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The BBL begins on December 13, while the WBBL begins on October 13. 

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