Privatized T20 leagues across the globe have been a rage among the cricket viewing masses. The trend of privatizing franchise based tournaments was commenced by the opulent Indian Premier League (IPL), and slowly the spice of T20 cricket was spread to various parts of the globe. Based on the success of the IPL, the Bangladesh Premier League was formed and one witnessed the inception of a few more T20 tournaments.
Australia’s Big Bash League has been an extremely successful T20 league and continues to attract a lot of eyeballs with every passing season. According to former Australian wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, the league can be developed further if it is privatized. “If we can get a couple of those Indian buyers interested in some of our franchises it can only benefit Australian cricket. I think Cricket Australia have done a wonderful job in the course of the Big Bash to get it to this point and have a product that we can sell in the open market. It will be interesting to see what happens with that because I think the Big Bash is only going from strength to strength,” said Haddin.
Greg Dyer, a senior member of Cricket Australia too seconded Haddin’s thoughts. “I would encourage either a complete privatisation or a partial privatisation of the franchises. It potentially throws off a massive amount of capital. I say that number can be invested back into the primary sport of cricket. You use it to develop the women’s game, you use it to further develop the men’s game from the grassroots up and you use a substantial portion of it to solidify Test and Sheffield Shield cricket, which is what your primary purpose should be. Big Bash and T20 will either be the death or saving of Test cricket and the longer forms,” Dyer said.
“You can imagine having privatised teams and those owners, whether they have 49 per cent or more, want to take profit from that. You can imagine if you had wealthy owners with a stake in a competition who had different views, how that might compromise what you’re doing to help protect international cricket,” Dyer concluded.