The men’s Big Bash League is set to see some big changes like a shortened 2023-24 season, a new TV rights deal, and an ability for the clubs to trade draft picks with the order again to be confirmed through lottery. As per the latest update from Cricket Australia, the Big Bash League will see the competition shortened to 44 games after Cricket Australia signed a USD 1.5 billion extension of its domestic broadcast rights partnership.
The tournament will consist of 40 home and away league matches and four knockout matches played between the top four sides. Furthermore, the clubs will be required to have at least one selection in each round of the draft, but potential trades could include two clubs trading picks across more than one round where both teams would move up the order in one round but down in the other.
“A shortened BBL will allow us greater flexibility to ensure we can deliver the best possible fixture for clubs and fans while providing a platform that allows players to continue to produce the world-class levels of cricket we've seen over the duration of the tournament," CA's general manager of Big Bash League, Alistair Dobson said in a statement.
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A shorter schedule and more lucrative salaries are the motive behind the change as earlier this year CA increased the salary cap for each team in the men’s Big Bash League (BBL) to three million Australian dollars (USD 2 million). The reduction in BBL fixtures will see the tournament align better with the holiday period, with more matches to be broadcast in prime time. It aims to garner more attendance and viewers as it saw a massive decline over the past few seasons. In 2022-23, it was 16,720 per match, and because of COVID-19 outbreak, the 2021-22 season saw only around 7000 people per match.
However, the Women’s Big Bash League will see no changes as of now but can be shortened in the future like the BBL. It will continue to host eight teams and constitute 59 matches (56 regular season matches plus 3 finals) in the upcoming ninth edition. "Whilst no changes have been made to the WBBL schedule, it's vital that we make sure the tournament continues to be at the forefront of T20 Leagues as the global women's game continues to evolve at a rapid rate," Alistair Dobson added.