In its upcoming season, that is, 2017, Big Bash League will have eight additional games in its schedule. However, Cricket Australia is keen to keep its length unchanged by balancing the tournament with matches from International summer and domestic circuit. The eight BBL teams will play an additional match each, which will make up for 10 qualifying matches for every team and 40 matches before the semis and the final fixture. The expansion of the league tournament was rolled out after a long review and discussion of about 18 months, as expressed by Anthony Everard, the BBL chief. The expansion of eight additional matches was done in lieu of increasing the number of teams. This will have positive impact on broadcaster rights and will also include venues like Canberra and Geelong into the BBL circuit.
Per Everard, the options to play the final games in the first weekend of February to increase the length of the tournament is still open. The BBL chief said the extra matches can be fixed in existing window. He also stated the popularity of matches in school holiday period. In overall, the official expressed that the league still has the options to expand more if required. He said adding one more home game per club was the best way to drive the strategy to bring on new fans to BBL. As reported, the decision was made last year in 2016 after an 18 months long discussion.
The expansion is supposed to bring up the real potential of the tournament. It will allow expansion into new markets and offer existing BBL fans more live matches, as stated by Everard. BBL already has strong presence across the major metropolitan in Australia. The addition of new matches will expand its reach to new cities and regions in the continent. BBL has been coming up in new avatars with innovation and new attractions in every new season over the past six years. Everard highlighted the success of the enterprise as TV audience, crowds as well as players have grown over years in BBL. He said the appetite for T20 crciket in Australia is growing throughout fans of all age groups. On the other hand, although, no changes are induced so far in the number of matches for Women BBL, new venues might be added to the tournament. The matches are limited to its present 58 fixtures, but Everard indicated about new venues to expand the tournament.
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