The KFC T20 Big Bash League is Australia’s domestic T20 competition and is scheduled to start on the 20th of December 2013 and wind up on the 15th of Feb 2014. This will be the third season the event, and it is currently being promoted on a number of Australian television channels.
Australia’s premier T20 tournament will not only feature some of the top players in Australia but a number of international players who have also been contracted by franchises and are scheduled to take part in this year’s Big Bash League.
The one drawback could be the timing of this season’s tournament as it coincides with the Ashes. The Ashes is a tournament of 5 test matches that are played between England and Australia. The Ashes is probably one of the most fiercest rivalries in cricket and since Australia has lost the last 3 Ashes, the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) has informed the teams participating that all Test players that are featuring in the Ashes squad will not be available to play in the Big Bash League, atleast until the Ashes is complete or until Australia have secured the urn.
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The premier T20 domestic tournament in the world is without a doubt the Indian Premier League (IPL). A number of countries have started their own T20 leagues after seeing the success of the IPL. Australia has been one of these countries who initially decided to launch their own league during the 2011-2012 season. The first season proved to be extremely successful for cricket in Australia as they managed to bring Australian cricketing legend Shane Warne out of T20 retirement. He along with a number of other famous Aussie cricketers played in the initial edition of the Big Bash League and it proved to be a grand success.
There is a lot of prize money up for grabs and this is one of the main reasons why the competition is able to draw players from across the world. Some of the top international players in world cricket such as Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Shahid Afridi and Johan Botha feature regularly in the league.
The Big Bash League receives a lot of publicity and media coverage and is also an ideal stage for young Aussie players to make a name for themselves and put their hands up for selection. This has proved to be the case for cricketers like Aaron Finch, Moises Henriques and Nathan-Coulter Nile who have put in impressive performances for their teams and have quickly made their way to the international arena.
Another reason why the sudden rise in popularity is because the top two teams are automatically selected to feature in the Champions League Twenty 20 tournament which takes place every year. This tournament selects 4 teams from the IPL and 2 teams from various other leagues such as the Big Bash League and Carribean Premier League. The Champions League Twenty 20 tournament is another cash rich tournament which gives players a shot at making even bigger sums of money in the same calendar year.
The tournament when it started was known as the KFC Twenty 20 Big Bash because it’s main sponsor was Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). However, the tournament is generally referred to the Big Bash League in most cricketing circles.
The initial tournament featured state teams who played against each other on a point based system. The tournament has now changed to city-based franchises so that their maybe more than one team from a particular state. The format however remains the same.
Since this tournament is supported by Cricket Australia, these matches are played at all the top cricket venues in Australia. Some of the grounds that host these matches include the MCG, SCG, WACA, Adelaide Oval and the Etihad Stadium in Victoria.
The 2011-2012 tournament was won by the Sydney Sixers after they defeated the Perth Scorchers at the WACA ground. The 2012-2013 tournament also featured the Perth Scorchers in the final but once again they could not pass the final hurdle as they went down to the Brisbane Heat.
There are 8 teams competing for the elusive trophy, and while there were talks that the 2013-2014 edition might feature additional teams, the board decided against an expansion as there were concerns that the tournament might lose some of its shine and the quality of the competition could get affected.
The following teams are taking part in the 2013-2014 Big Bash League:
The tournament is played on a 20 over basis and most matches are scheduled to take place in the evening under lights. The events are being highly promoted in the media in order to boost stadium attendance as well as TPR ratings.
Each team will end up playing all the other teams in the tournament and a point system will determine the semi-finalists. After a playoff, the grand finale will take place and the eventual winner will be determined. There are no provisions for a drawn match as if the scores are tied, a super over will take place to determine the eventual winner.
This year, Network Ten is the official broadcast partner of the Big Bash League and will cover all 35 matches of the series. Network Ten has hired some of the best cricket commentators in Australia and will feature the likes of Mark Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Damien Fleming.
There will be a number of websites updating the cricket section on a regular basis as the tournament gets underway. Given that this is one of the premiere domestic cricket tournaments, most any online sportsbook will offer odds on the events and games. For now though, you will have to settle with the futures bets, but when it gets closer to the start of the series, you will find more betting options available.
As always, we recommend checking out www.Bet365.com if you would like to bet on any of the big cricket events, and the Big Bash League is no exception.