The Big Bash League or the BBL is Australia’s premier T20 competition. It was established in 2011 by Cricket Australia. The Big Bash League replaced the previous competition, the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash, and features eight city-based franchises instead of the six state teams which had participated previously. Ever since its inception, fast-food outlet KFC has sponsored it.
BBL matches are played in Australia during the summer in the months of December, January and February.
The Perth Scorchers are the most successful team in the Big Bash league’s short history, winning the title three times including consecutively for two years and have reached the final of the tournament in five of the seven seasons so far. The other four teams which have won the title are Adelaide Strikers, Sydney Sixers, Brisbane Heat and Sydney Thunder. Adelaide Strikers are the defending champions.
Before 2014, the top two teams in the tournament used to qualify for the Champions League Twenty20 tournament. It was an annual international Twenty20 competition played between the top domestic teams from various nations. However, the CLT20 became defunct after the 2014 tournament.
Barring the inaugural season, the BBL has followed the same format every year. The inaugural season in 2011 saw 28 group stage matches before it was expanded to 32 in the following season.
As of now, eight teams fight it out in the competition. According to the Big Bash League current format, each team plays every other team at least once during a season. However, each team is also assigned a particular “rival” with which they play for the second time in the same season. The assigned ‘rival’ for a team does not change generally in different seasons. Cross-town teams such as Melbourne Renegades and Melbourne Stars have been assigned as “rivals” to each other. This allows BBL to have 2 Melbourne derbies as well as 2 Sydney derbies within a single season.
Previously, the group stage matches were divided into eight rounds, with four matches played in each round. Each team played eight group stage matches, four at home and four away. At the end of the league phase, the top four teams advanced to the finals. Thus, the total number of matches during the season tallied up to 35, with 32 group stage matches and three knocks out matches.
In the seventh season (2017/18), however, the format changed, thus extending the number of group games to 40. Each team played 10 matches before the semi-finals. The season was held over a similar time-frame thus resulting in more doubleheaders (one game afternoon, one game night) and teams playing more regularly.
The eighth season will be the longest ever BBL season ever, with an expanded 59 game season, with each team playing 14 home and away matches before two semi-finals and the Big Final.
The final of the tournament is played at the home ground of the highest-ranked team. The only exception to this rule was 2014–15 season when the final was played at a neutral venue (Manuka Oval), due to the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
Big Bash League (BBL) teams:
Eight teams fight it out in the Big Bash League (BBL). Previously, six state-based teams had competed in the KFC Twenty20 Big Bash. Each state’s capital city features one team, with Sydney and Melbourne featuring two. The team names and colours for all teams were officially announced on 6 April 2011.
As of now, a single city-based franchise can have a maximum of 18 contracted players for a season. Each team should have a minimum of two rookie contracts and a maximum of two overseas players in the squad. Each team can also have a maximum of two overseas replacement players, in case the original overseas players get injured or withdraw due to a particular reason.
|Adelaide Strikers||Adelaide||South Australia||Adelaide Oval|
|Brisbane Heat||Brisbane||Queensland||The Gabba|
|Hobart Hurricanes||Hobart||Tasmania||Blundstone Arena|
|Melbourne Renegades||Melbourne||Victoria||Marvel Stadium|
|Melbourne Stars||Melbourne||Victoria||Melbourne Cricket Ground|
|Perth Scorchers||Perth||Western Australia||Optus Stadium|
|Sydney Sixers||Sydney||New South Wales||Sydney Cricket Ground|
|Sydney Thunder||Sydney||New South Wales||Spotless Stadium|
So far, five of the eight teams have won the tournament at least once. The Perth Scorchers are the most successful team in the Big Bash league’s history, winning the title three times including back-to-back in 2013–14 and 2014–15. They also hold the record for reaching the final of the tournament the most times, doing so consecutively in the first four seasons. In contrast, only two other teams have reached the final twice. The other four teams which have won the title are the Sydney Sixers in the inaugural season (2011–12), the Brisbane Heat in the second season (2012–13), the Sydney Thunder in 2015–16 and the Adelaide Strikers in 2017-18.
|2011–12||Sydney Sixers||Perth Scorchers|
|2012–13||Brisbane Heat||Perth Scorchers|
|2013–14||Perth Scorchers||Hobart Hurricanes|
|2014–15||Perth Scorchers||Sydney Sixers|
|2015–16||Sydney Thunder||Melbourne Stars|
|2016–17||Perth Scorchers||Sydney Sixers|
|2017–18||Adelaide Strikers||Hobart Hurricanes|
Here is the year-wise performance of each team in BBL:
|Adelaide Strikers||6th||5th||7th||SF (1st)||SF (1st)||6th||W (2nd)|
|Brisbane Heat||5th||W (4th)||5th||8th||6th||SF (2nd)||7th|
|Hobart Hurricanes||SF (2nd)||6th||R (4th)||5th||7th||7th||R (4th)|
|Melbourne Renegades||7th||SF (1st)||6th||6th||5th||5th||SF (3rd)|
|Melbourne Stars||SF (4th)||SF (3rd)||SF (1st)||SF (3rd)||R (2nd)||SF (4th)||8th|
|Perth Scorchers||R (1st)||R (2nd)||W (3rd)||W (2nd)||SF (3rd)||W (1st)||SF (1st)|
|Sydney Sixers||W (3rd)||7th||SF (2nd)||R (4th)||8th||R (3rd)||5th|
|Sydney Thunder||8th||8th||8th||7th||W (4th)||8th||6th|
Cricket Australia increased the prize money for the BBL to a total of $890,000 for the four finalists from 2015–16 season, after the Champions League Twenty20 tournament was discontinued with effect from 2015. The prize money will be split between the teams as follows:
$20,000 – To the team finishing fifth in the season
$80,000 – To each losing semi-finalist
$260,000 – To the Runner up
$450,000 – To the Champion of the season
However, the additional cash increase of $600,000 will go to successful clubs and not their players. Till the 2014–15 Big Bash League season, a total prize money of $290,000 was awarded.