Defending Champion Sydney Sixers Melbourne Stars take on the fight in the first match of the 11th season of the Big Bash League (BBL) on 5 December at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The matches were announced on Wednesday – subject to changes required due to Covid-19 – with the season starting and ending earlier than last summer.
The BBL 2021 is a shortened tournament in length compared to last year. Four days have been cut short, from 59 to 55, with the final schedule for January 28, which is within the school holidays. The board hopes this will help increase the number of people.
Unlike last season, the BBL 2021 is scheduled as a full home-and-away competition, though Covid-19 will keep everyone on their toes.
The tournament starts three days before the Ashes series for the home for men and will end a few days before the white ball series against New Zealand. This means that the white ball players are available all season to ban the test players from participating in the Ashes.
📅 # BBL11 ANNEX 📅
A full home-away game, plus finals before the end of January. Summer holiday set
– KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) 14 July 2021
BBL draft postponed for overseas players
The proposed BBL concept for overseas players has also been postponed by another year due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of foreign players. Initially pushed back from the 2020-21 season, it was hoped to get the system up and running for this campaign, but instead overseas players – up to three per team – will be signed in the traditional way.
“We really like the idea of an overseas player concept and this is something that will be on the agenda again next year,” Alistair Dobson, general manager of Big Bash Leagues, told ESPNcricinfo.
“But when we considered the ongoing challenges with overseas travel and the need for security to players and clubs, we made the call to postpone it for another year.”
It will be confirmed later whether all three of the innovations that were brought under the playing conditions last year – Power Surge, X-Factor and Bash Boost – will continue or not; The Surge was accepted by fans and experts as it brought excitement during the mid-innings of the innings.