BBL 2017/18: Sydney Thunder All Set to Play in Canberra for Expansion Plan
Australian capital Canberra which is located on the southeast coast and will be hosting the fixtures of the seventh edition of the KFC Big Bash League to eventually become overall the tenth city, in a bid to pull the decent crowd for the domestic professional Twenty20 competition.
According to the Cricket Australia (CA) under which the widely acclaimed league, BBL is concurrently being organised, the Board has confirmed the Australian summer campaign’s fixture.
Owing to the allocation of the expansion, the head of the leagues including events, Anthony Everard stated the decision had been made to cover the regional centres in the Australian set-up.
“We’re always looking at opportunities to grow the game and expand our fan base beyond traditional markets and demographics,” Everard told Sydney Morning Herald.
As the BBL outfit Thunder is bound to play at Manuka Oval in Canberra on January 24 next year against Melbourne Renegades, this will be the first time since January 28, 2015, when the competition will get hosted in Canberra.
“This expansion is designed to drive Cricket Australia’s strategy to ultimately continue to be Australia’s favourite sport and a sport for all Australians,” Everard maintained.
Earlier, the Australian city hosted final of the 2014-15 season between Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers which Perth Scorchers won by four wickets. Interestingly, the expansion plans got revealed on January 27, 2017, when the league management considered adding at least eight fixtures to the competition.
“A club-by-club approach has been taken to determine the most appropriate location to host this additional fixture,” Everard remarked.
Earlier, the competition witnessed 35 fixtures including the two semi-finals and the grand finale which would see a total of 43 matches in the seventh season.
BBL and Women’s Big Big Bash League (WBBL) could witness more matches this time around, as the competition had already impressed the fans with the staggering television viewership across the cricketing globe which further includes the online streaming.
Taking into account the aspects including existing contractual obligations, participation and fan growth opportunities, and venue infrastructure,” Everard concluded.
Moreover, the competition was traditionally hosted by six venues which would further see Adelaide playing in Alice Springs, Hobart in Launceston followed by Renegades in Geelong.
The BBL competition kicked off in 2011 which housed as many as eight teams to provide a significant platform for the youngsters in Australia’s domestic set-up.
The competition will kick off at the Sydney Showground Stadium between Sydney Sixers and Thunder and which will run through February 4.
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