Big Bash Expansion Proposal
It has been a debate among the Australian cricket fraternity for some years now. “What is the best way to expand the Big Bash League?” For New Zealand sports fans, the answer could sound very familiar. “Why not get a New Zealand team into the mix?” In the world of professional cricket, competitions like the Indian Premier League and the Australian Big Bash League have completely revolutionised the game.
The crowd numbers at T20 games in India and across Australia are simply staggering. This was also the case with the McDonald’s Super Smash, New Zealand’s own T20 competition. Fans streamed into he stadiums, making the most of the weekend games. While test cricket still has its place, the value of T20 cricket must not be underestimated. After all, test cricket has gone a long way to influence the T20 game and vice versa.
Asian Markets a Good Place to Start
The success of the shortened game has sparked a heated debate on whether test cricket should be should revert back to four-day test matches. If the BBL does make its way into the country, New Zealand cricket would get a solid boost without detracting from the local games. As it happens, a new proposal by Cricket NSW could see the very thing most people have been talking about. The proposal aims to expand the Twenty20 BBL and take the competition into New Zealand and Asia.
It has been reported that Hong Kong, China and Singapore are all areas signalled out for the expansion with games in New Zealand also being proposed. With the Melbourne Stars having played the Wellington Firebirds in a warm up game already, the idea seems to be growing momentum. Last month, BBL boss James Sutherland said that he would want to increase the number of games per season before they make the call to introduce new franchises.
However due to competition with rival sports and existing cricket One Day games, the expansion of the BBL might not be feasible in Australia. The best way forward could be targeting overseas markets. The idea to expand into Asia has been sparked by the AFL’s move into the Chinese Market. Hong Kong was also a lucrative market to look at as cricket is widely thought to be the nation’s fastest growing sport. Hong Kong has competed in the past two T20 World Cup Tournaments with massive support from Asian fans.
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