Big Bash League
Official BBL Logo
|Tournament format||Round-robin and knockout finals|
|Number of teams||8|
|Current champion||Sydney Thunder (1st title)|
|Most successful||Perth Scorchers
|Qualification||Champions League Twenty20|
|Most runs||Michael Klinger (1,274)|
|Most wickets||Ben Laughlin (60)|
The Big Bash League (BBL, also known as the KFC Big Bash League for sponsorship reasons) is an Australian domestic Twenty20 cricket tournament, which was established in 2011 by Cricket Australia. The Big Bash League replaced the previous competition, the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash, and features eight city-based franchises instead of the six state teams which had participated previously. The competition has been sponsored by fast food chicken outlet KFC since its inception.
BBL matches are played in Australia during the summer in the months of December and January. It is now placed eighth in the list of most attended sports leagues in the world with respect to average crowd per match (2015–16 season).
Out of the eight teams in the tournament, four have won the title at least once. The Perth Scorchers are the most successful team in the league's short history, winning the title consecutively for two years and have reached the final of the tournament in four of the five seasons. The other three teams which have won the title are Sydney Sixers, Brisbane Heat and Sydney Thunder.
Earlier, the top two teams in the tournament used to qualify for the Champions League Twenty20 tournament. It was an annual international Twenty20 competition played between the top domestic teams from various nations. However, the CLT20 has now become defunct from 2015 onwards.
- 1 History
- 2 Tournament format
- 3 Current teams
- 4 Tournament results
- 5 Salary cap and Contracting Period
- 6 Prize money
- 7 Audience
- 8 Grounds
- 9 Records and statistics
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
A design contest was held in 2011 to determine the design of the Big Bash League trophy. The competition was restricted to Australian designers, with the final design, chosen by the public from a field of three, revealed on 13 December 2011.
It had been proposed that the tournament would undergo expansion into more regional areas not supported by international cricket. The expansion was planned to be implemented in 2012. The proposed teams included: Newcastle, Canberra, Geelong, and the Gold Coast. A New Zealand-based team was also mentioned as a possibility which would be based at Auckland or Christchurch. Cricket expert Mark Waugh commented on Fox Sports that an expansion could dilute the player pool resulting in a sub-standard league. The expansion proposal was eventually dumped, mainly because the proposed cities lacked the proper cricket hosting facilities.
In 2015, former Black Caps captain and Melbourne Stars coach Stephen Fleming suggested expansion of the tournament to include New Zealand teams and become a trans-Tasman competition. He said an expansion into New Zealand would be widely supported by locals. His views were also supported by Brisbane Heat coach and former Black Caps captain Daniel Vettori. Melbourne Renegades chief executive Stuart Coventry also stated that he wants Cricket Australia to grant each club a fifth home fixture next season. Coventry said the BBL was ready to expand from 8 to 10 games, and adding matches would further establish the franchises.
In 2016, Anthony Everard, head of the BBL, flagged the league's intentions to approach expansion through a soft launch. He stated the short to medium term goal was to schedule BBL games involving existing franchises in regional markets before likely adding new teams after the 2017/18 season when the current broadcast deal expires. He also indicated the regional markets of Canberra, Geelong and the Gold Coast will likely host games during the soft launch period.
Women's Big Bash League
Former women's Test captain and Head of Brisbane's Centre of Excellence, Belinda Clark revealed on 19 January 2014 the planning for a women's BBL is in its early stages but it could become a reality very soon. They are considering it for the huge rise in television ratings in the BBL 03 season and the rise in women's cricket popularity.
On 19 February 2015, Cricket Australia announced that a Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) would commence in season 2015/2016, with teams aligned to the current men's competition. The teams will share the names and colours of the existing men's BBL teams, meaning that there will be two teams from each of Sydney and Melbourne while one team from each of Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Hobart.
Christmas Day match
In December 2015, Cricket Australia revealed that they are looking into the possibility of hosting a Christmas Day BBL match in the coming years, possibly after the next season. If the proposal is passed, it would be a first in the history of Australian sport since no professional matches are played in Australia on Christmas Day. "It is something we have just recently started discussing, the possibilities of that. We're talking about playing a Christmas Eve match, we already play Boxing Day," CA's Executive GM (Operations) Mike McKenna said.
Since the inception of the BBL in 2011, the tournament has followed the same format every year except the inaugural season. The first BBL season had 28 group stage matches, before expanding to 32 in the following season.
Currently in the eight team format, each team plays every other team at least once during a season. However, each team is also assigned a particular "rival" with which they play for the second time in the same season. The assigned 'rival' for a team does not change generally in different seasons. Cross-town teams such as Melbourne Renegades and Melbourne Stars have been assigned as "rivals" to each other. This allows BBL to have 2 Melbourne derbies as well as 2 Sydney derbies within a single season.
The group stage matches are divided into 8 rounds, with 4 matches played in each round. Each team plays 8 group stage matches, four at home and four away, before the top 4 ranked teams progress to the Semi Finals. The Final of the tournament is played at the home ground of the highest-ranked team. The only exception to this rule was 2014–15 season when the final was played at a neutral venue (Manuka Oval).
Thus, the total number of matches during a season tally up to 35, with 32 group stage matches and 3 knock out matches.
The competition features eight city-based franchises, instead of the six state-based teams which had previously competed in the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash. Each state's capital city features one team, with Sydney and Melbourne featuring two. The team names and colours for all teams were officially announced on 6 April 2011. The Melbourne Derby and Sydney Derby matches are some of the most heavily attended matches during the league and are widely anticipated by the fans. The Scorchers and Sixers have also developed a rivalry between them over the years and their matches attract good crowds and TV ratings.
As of now, a single city-based franchise can have a maximum of 18 contracted players for a season. Each team should have a minimum of two rookie contracts and a maximum of two overseas players in the squad. Each team can also have a maximum of two overseas replacement players, in case the original overseas players get injured or withdraw due to particular reason.
Out of the eight teams in the tournament, four have won the title at least once. The Perth Scorchers are the most successful team in the league's history, winning the title consecutively for two seasons in 2013–14 and 2014–15. They also hold the record for reaching the final of the tournament in the first four consecutive seasons, with only one other team reaching the final twice. The other three teams which have won the title are the Sydney Sixers in the inaugural season (2011–12), the Brisbane Heat in the second season (2012–13) and the Sydney Thunder in 2015-16.
The WACA Ground has hosted the final on three occasions, more than any other venue. In fact, the final of the 2014–15 BBL season would have also been hosted by WACA Ground if it was awarded to the home ground of the highest-ranked team, as in previous seasons. However, Manuka Oval was awarded the rights to host the final of 2014–15 BBL season as a neutral venue.
|Season||Final||Final host||Final venue|
158/3 (18.5 overs)
|Sixers won by 7 wickets
156/5 (20 overs)
|Perth Scorchers||WACA Ground|
167/5 (20 overs)
|Heat won by 34 runs
133/9 (20 overs)
|Perth Scorchers||WACA Ground|
191/4 (20 overs)
|Scorchers won by 39 runs
152/7 (20 overs)
|Perth Scorchers||WACA Ground|
148/6 (20 overs)
|Scorchers won by 4 wickets
147/5 (20 overs)
|Neutral Venue||Manuka Oval|
181/7 (19.3 overs)
|Thunder won by 3 wickets
176/9 (20 overs)
|Melbourne Stars||Melbourne Cricket Ground|
|Adelaide Strikers||6th||5th||7th||SF (1st)||SF (1st)|
|Brisbane Heat||5th||W (4th)||5th||8th||6th|
|Hobart Hurricanes||SF (2nd)||6th||R (4th)||5th||7th|
|Melbourne Renegades||7th||SF (1st)||6th||6th||5th|
|Melbourne Stars||SF (4th)||SF (3rd)||SF (1st)||SF (3rd)||R (2nd)|
|Perth Scorchers||R (1st)||R (2nd)||W (3rd)||W (2nd)||SF (3rd)|
|Sydney Sixers||W (3rd)||7th||SF (2nd)||R (4th)||8th|
|Sydney Thunder||8th||8th||8th||7th||W (4th)|
- W = Winner; R = Runner-up; SF = Semifinalist
- (x) = End of league games table position
Salary cap and Contracting Period
The Big Bash League's salary cap was $1.05 million for the third season, a $50,000 increase from the two previous seasons, which were played under a salary cap of $1 million. In February 2015, BBL salary cap increased to $1.30 million for the fifth season of BBL.
Currently, the salary cap has increased to $1.40 million, an increase of $100,000 compared to previous season. Under $1.40 million salary cap, a team can sign a total of 18 contracted players consisting of a minimum of 2 rookie contracts and maximum of 2 overseas players. In addition, 2 overseas replacement players can also be signed by a team.
|Contracting Details (per team)|
|Retainer Pool Amount (excluding superannuation)||$1.40 million|
|Number of Contracts||18|
|Number of Rookie Contracts||2|
|Maximum Overseas Players in squad of 18||2|
|Maximum Replacement Overseas Players||2|
The key dates for the sixth season during the contracting period are as follows. 
- January 27 – Contracting start date
- January 27 to February 26 – First Trade period (During this period, BBL clubs are allowed to trade contracted players to another club at any stage of their contract)
- July 1 – BBL Round 1 contracting date (At this time, all BBL clubs must have contracted a minimum of 10 players)
- November 14 to November 18 – Second Trade period (During this period, BBL clubs are allowed to trade contracted players to another club at any stage of their contract)
- December 2 – Contracting end date (At this time, all clubs must have completed their 18-player squads, including the Community and Development Rookie contracts)
- December 6 – Supplementary list end date
Cricket Australia increased the prize money for the BBL to a total of $890,000 for the four finalists from 2015–16 season, after the Champions League Twenty20 tournament was discontinued with effect from 2015. The prize money will be split between the teams as follows:
- $20,000 – To the team finishing fifth in the season
- $80,000 – To each losing semi-finalist
- $260,000 – To the Runner up
- $450,000 – To the Champion of the season
Average home crowds for the regular season are listed below. These figures do not include finals matches. While the figures for whole season average includes the average throughout the tournament including the finals. Post-Christmas matches have historically been the highest attended period for the League.
The 2014–15 season saw record domestic cricket crowds in the states of South Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania and the ACT, including a record attendance of 52,633 at the Adelaide Strikers' home semi-final, which was then the biggest ever crowd at the redeveloped Adelaide Oval.
In 2015-16 season too, the attendance figures continued to be broken across all the venues. Perth Scorchers became the first ever BBL team to sell out all of its home matches in a season. On 2 January 2016, the BBL single match attendance record was surpassed, with a crowd of 80,883 watching the first of two Melbourne derbies between the Melbourne Stars and the Melbourne Renegades at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The Big Bash League also entered into the top 10 most attended sports leagues in the world with respect to average crowd per match in this season.
BBL games are currently broadcast in Australia by the free-to-air Network Ten. In 2013 Ten paid $100 million for BBL rights over five years, marking the channel's first foray in elite cricket coverage. Fox Sports had previously covered the T20 Big Bash League.
Network Ten's BBL coverage has become a regular feature of Australian summers and attracted an average audience of more than 943,000 people nationally in 2014–15 season, including a peak audience of 1.9 million viewers for the final between the Scorchers and Sixers.
The 2015–16 season attracted an average audience of 1.13 million for each match in Australia this season, an 18% increase on the previous season. A cumulative audience of 9.65 million watched the matches in Australia, out of which 39% where females. The opening Sydney Derby match of the season attracted a peak audience of 1.53 million. The last group match between Renegades and Strikers in Session 2 was watched by an average audience of 1.36 million, which peaked at 1.67 million. The BBL Final was watched by an average audience of 1.79 million, which peaked at 2.24 million viewers. This was the first time that the ratings for a BBL match crossed the 2 million mark.
International broadcast partners
|Australia||Network Ten (2013–present)
Fox Sports (2011–13)
|New Zealand||Sky Sport|
|Sri Lanka||STAR Sports|
|United Kingdom||Sky Sports|
A total of 10 grounds have been used to host BBL matches till date. Sydney Thunder moved out of ANZ Stadium after 2014–15 season and relocated to Spotless Stadium for the next 10 years. The Final of the tournament is played at the home ground of the highest-ranked team. #TheFurnace has hosted the final thrice, more than any other venue. Manuka Oval hosted the final of 2014–15 BBL season as a neutral venue primarily because other major grounds were being prepared for the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
Perth Stadium will replace #TheFurnace as the home ground of Perth Scorchers starting from 2018–19. Main reasons behind the move are poor facilities at the ground as well as low spectator capacity.
|Name of the stadium||Capacity||City||Home team|
|Adelaide Oval||53,583||Adelaide||Adelaide Strikers|
|Blundstone Arena||19,500||Hobart||Hobart Hurricanes|
|Etihad Stadium||53,359||Melbourne||Melbourne Renegades|
|WACA Ground||20,000||Perth||Perth Scorchers|
|The Gabba||42,000||Brisbane||Brisbane Heat|
|Melbourne Cricket Ground||100,024||Melbourne||Melbourne Stars|
|Spotless Stadium||22,000||Sydney||Sydney Thunder|
|Sydney Cricket Ground||48,000||Sydney||Sydney Sixers|
|Perth Stadium||60,000||Perth||Perth Scorchers|
|ANZ Stadium||82,000||Sydney||Sydney Thunder (2011–2015)|
|Manuka Oval||12,000||Canberra||Neutral Venue (BBL 04 Final)|
Records and statistics
Here is a list of Big Bash League records. All records are based on statistics at espncricinfo.com. Melbourne Renegades captain and opening batsman Michael Klinger currently holds the record of scoring most runs in the league. He has played 41 matches in the BBL so far, starting from 2011. The record of taking most wickets in the league belongs to Ben Laughlin, who currently plays for Adelaide Strikers. He has represented Hobart Hurricanes in the past, and has played a total of 43 BBL matches since 2011.
|Most runs||Michael Klinger||1,274|
|Highest average||Peter Handscomb||79.33|
|Highest score||Luke Wright||117 vs Hobart Hurricanes (9 January 2012)|
|Highest partnership||Rob Quiney & Luke Wright||172 vs Hobart Hurricanes (9 January 2012)|
|Most sixes||Chris Lynn||60|
|Most wickets||Ben Laughlin||60|
|Lowest average||Lasith Malinga||15.00|
|Best strike rate||Cameron Gannon||12.4|
|Best economy rate||Lasith Malinga||5.40|
|Best bowling figures||Lasith Malinga||6/7 vs Perth Scorchers (12 December 2012)|
|Most dismissals (wicket-keeper)||Ryan Carters||29|
|Most catches (fielder)||Adam Voges||20|
|Highest total||Hobart Hurricanes||210-7 (19.2) vs Brisbane Heat (28 December 2013)|
|Lowest total||Melbourne Renegades||57 (12.4) vs Melbourne Stars (3 January 2015)|
Last updated on 24 January 2016
- List of Big Bash League records and statistics
- List of Big Bash League centuries
- Women's Big Bash League
- Cricket Australia
- Cricket in Australia
- Big Bash League / Records / Most runs – ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- Big Bash League / Records / Most wickets – ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 28 January 2015.
- Big Bash League jumps into top 10 of most attended sports leagues in the world smh.com.au. Retrieved on 12 January 2016
- Big Bash world's 9th most attended league: Report Press Trust of India (PTI). Retrieved on 12 January 2016
- "Champions League T20 discontinued". ESPN. 15 July 2015. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
- "KFC T20 Big Bash League – Top three trophies as chosen by you". Bigbash.com.au.
- "KFC T20 Big Bash League – The trophy has been revealed". Bigbash.com.au.
- Cricket Australia considering Big Bash expansion. Retrieved 17 January 2012
- Cricket Australia looks at expanding KFC T20 Big Bash League on back of incredible ratings and crowd figures. Retrieved 17 January 2012
- "Articles from January 27, 2012". Sports News First. 27 January 2012.
- Kerry, Craig (12 January 2012). "Newcastle lacking for big bash". Newcastle Herald.
- Expand the Big Bash League to New Zealand, says Stephen Fleming smh.com.au. Retrieved on 4 December 2015
- NEW ZEALAND COULD FIELD BBL TEAM: VETTORI bigbash.com.au. Retrieved on 25 December 2015
- Big Bash: Melbourne Renegades boss wants more games next season perthnow.com.au. Retrieved on 22 December 2015
- BIG BASH MAY HEAD TO REGIONAL AREAS bigbash.com.au. Retrieved on 6 January 2016
- "Possibility of Women's Big Bash League". Ninemsn. 19 January 2014.
- "Eight teams announced for Women's BBL". cricket.com.au. 19 February 2015.
- BIG BASH LOOKS TO CHRISTMAS CLASH bigbash.com.au. Retrieved on 22 December 2015
- Big Bash League 2015–16 schedule – Tournament kick-starts on December 17 cricketmad.com. Retrieved on 4 December 2015
- What's next for the Big Bash League? Since you asked… theroar.com.au. Retrieved on 4 December 2015
- Big Bash League final at Manuka Oval "disappointing" for Perth Scorchers fans smh.com.au. Retrieved on 2 December 2015
- New look and feel for freshly formed Big Bash teams, ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
- Big Bash League: double-headers, derbies, big egos all on show in 2015–16 version of BBL news.com.au. Retrieved on 4 December 2015
- Sydney Sixers v Perth Scorchers sportsbanter.com.au. Retrieved on 4 December 2015
- BBL|05: Contracting for the next Big Bash League begins cricketbadger.com. Retrieved on 2 December 2015
- Big Bash League / Records / Series results espncricinfo.com. Retrieved on 4 December 2015
- "Perth Scorchers / Records / Twenty20 matches". ESPN. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
- Big Bash League 2011–12 espncricinfo.com. Retrieved on 2 December 2015.
- Big Bash League 2012–13 espncricinfo.com. Retrieved on 2 December 2015.
- Big Bash tweaks player rules smh.com.au. Retrieved on 3 December 2015.
- Million-dollar salary cap for Big Bash League espncricinfo.com. Retrieved on 3 December 2015
- Five ways on how to improve the Big Bash theroar.com.au. Retrieved on 3 December 2015
- IPL cash trumps Big Bash in grab for stars thedailytelegraph.com.au. Retrieved on 3 December 2015
- Cricket legend Dean Jones tips more Big Bash cash heraldsun.com.au. Retrieved on 3 December 2015
- Marquee players want slice of Big Bash pie theaustralian.com.au. Retrieved on 3 December 2015
- BBL|06 CONTRACTING PERIOD OPENS sydneysixers.com.au. Retrieved on 27 January 2016
- CA INCREASE BBL|05 PRIZE POOL bigbash.com.au. Retrieved on 15 December 2015
- Big Bash League: Infant tournament now part of Australian cricket's summer fabric heraldsun.com.au. Retrieved on 25 November 2015.
- CROWD RECORDS TUMBLE AT STRIKERS SEMI-FINAL adelaidestrikers.com.au. Retrieved on 25 November 2015.
- Big Bash League schedule released cricket.com.au. Retrieved on 25 November 2015.
- SCORCHERS SET LEAGUE SELL-OUT RECORD perthscorchers.com.au. Retrieved on 12 January 2016
- New Big Bash League broadcaster Channel Ten thrilled with ratings for season opening derby heraldsun.com.au. Retrieved on 25 November 2015.
- Big Bash League schedule released cricket.com.au. Retrieved on 25 November 2015
- Season Wrap - BBL|05 bigbash.com.au. Retrieved on 25 January 2016
- BBL AND WBBL SOAR TO NEW HIGHS bigbash.com.au. Retrieved on 25 January 2016
- #SydneySmash breaks ratings record bigbash.com.au. Retrieved on 19 December 2015
- Session 2: 1.36 mil Peak 1.67 mil Audience up 41% on 2014-15 Session 2 ave #BBL05 Malcolm Conn - Commercial Manager, Cricket Australia. Retrieved on 25 January 2016
- SBIG ratings for BIG #BBL05 #BBLFinal! 1.79 mil watched @ThunderBBL win their first title. Peak 2.24 mil Audience up 17% 2015 final session 2 Malcolm Conn - Commercial Manager, Cricket Australia. Retrieved on 25 January 2016
- "WACA to shift Test matches to new Perth Stadium at Burswood". WAToday. 3 September 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- Big Bash League/Records/Cup records espncricinfo.com. Retrieved on 6 January 2015